1 Tuesday, 15 January 2008
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 8.29 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court].
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, and good morning, Your Honours. This
8 is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is Tuesday, January 15,
10 2008, and I welcome everyone in the courtroom, people from the
11 Prosecution, Mr. Seselj, and all those helping us.
12 So first and foremost I would like to tell Mr. Seselj, maybe he
13 already knows this, maybe he doesn't, that the panel of three Judges
14 appointed by the President has decided to dismiss the Prosecution's
15 motion. Yesterday the President gave an order regarding this dismissal.
16 The procedure thus stands as it is and we can now go on.
17 Mr. Seselj, you will obtain in your own language translation of
18 this decision that was drafted in English. It was filed yesterday in the
19 evening, so -- which is why it could be translated overnight. But I --
20 you know now exactly what this order is about. The motion is dismissed
21 and Judge Harhoff is on the Bench and stays on the Bench.
22 Before we bring the witness into the courtroom I have four items
23 to discuss. I would like Mr. Seselj to listen carefully because this
24 deals with documents that he sent to the Trial Chamber.
25 Firstly, document 334 drafted by Mr. Seselj on November 2nd, 2007,
1 and filed on November 8, 2008 [as interpreted]. In this document the
2 accused was answering the notice -- the notice sent by the Prosecution
3 regarding the order of the witnesses. The order of the witnesses has been
4 changed since then, and this is why motion 334 is now moot.
5 Secondly, document 350, this was drafted by Mr. Seselj on December
6 4, 2007, and filed on December 10, 2007. On December 4, 2007, Mr. Seselj
7 was raising the following items in this document -- was raising several
8 documents -- several items, and the Chamber -- the Trial Chamber will not
9 deal with the two first items that have to do with protected witness. But
10 regarding item number 3, the Trial Chamber would like to give its
11 position, regarding the disclosure of possibly exculpatory documents,
12 exhibits, according to Rule 68. On November 5, 2007, in its second
13 decision dealing with requirements of Prosecution under Rule 68, the
14 Chamber had ordered as follows, and I will quote this decision and I will
15 read slowly: "Prosecution must disclose as quickly as possible in hard
16 copy and in a language understood by the witness [as interpreted] the --
17 some 3.000 documents that Prosecution has identified using key words given
18 by the accused."
19 Therefore, in the submission 350, Mr. Seselj submits that
20 Prosecution did not meet its requirement under this decision, since a
21 great number of documents have not been translated into Serbian and since
22 other documents are only excerpts. The Trial Chamber is thus asking
23 Prosecution to reply on this point in writing, make a written submission,
24 before Friday, January 18.
25 Thirdly, dealing with document 358, document 358 was drafted on
1 December 11, 2007, by Mr. Seselj and filed on February 2nd, 2008. In
2 document 358 Mr. Seselj was asking leave for the ex parte status to be
3 lifted regarding all documents and all appendices produced by
4 Prosecution. The very general nature of this -- of submission 358 makes
5 it impossible for the Trial Chamber at the moment to examine the merits of
6 this submission. Trial Chamber would like to underscore that it is not up
7 to the Trial Chamber to look into all the documents and to search all
8 these documents to try and find out those who were disclosed to the
9 accused and those who were not disclosed to the accused. It is up to the
10 accused to be very precise and accurate in his submission. The Trial
11 Chamber is thus asking Mr. Seselj to make a more accurate submission
12 regarding what it is complaining about. And Mr. Seselj should just
13 therefore give us his observations before January 18.
14 Fourthly, and this item deals with the witness that we are about
15 to hear, Trial Chamber is recalling its decision of January 1st -- January
16 7th, 2008, on the consolidated motion. It dismissed the Prosecution's
17 request requesting the written statement to -- of this witness to be
18 admitted according to Rule 92 ter, which is why the witness that we're
19 about to hear will testify viva voce and not testify according to Rule 92
21 These were the four points that I wanted to cover.
22 Mr. Seselj.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would just like to
24 present a few problems with the wish of having these problems resolved
25 before the next witnesses come in. It is not a problem related to this
1 particular witness but to the one coming right after this witness, and I'm
2 referring to the period of the next few weeks. The next witness is
3 VS-004, the witness after this one, that is. I received his statement
4 dated the 14th of August, 2006. That is an abbreviated version of the
5 statement given on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of May, 2002; however, I
6 received that one in redacted form. You see how many blackened portions
7 there are there. I never received that statement in its entirety. You
8 see, an entire page, for instance. I require the entire statement so that
9 I can prepare properly for examining witness VS-004 and I want to get that
10 as soon as possible.
11 Also, you told me that you rejected lifting the seal from the
12 documents submitted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia in
13 relation to the documents that the OTP received from the current state
14 security agency. It is document 426 -- it is 426 documents that are in
15 question. I want the Prosecution to submit all these documents to me as
16 soon as possible. I want to have a set of these documents in its entirety
17 so that I could prepare for a public hearing that would be attended by a
18 representative of the Government of Serbia. I oppose having a seal of
19 confidentiality on these documents. They can be very important for me
20 because they say what kind of measures the regime in Serbia applied
21 towards me personally and the Serb Radical Party in 1991, 1992, and 1993,
22 that is to say, the time relevant to the indictment. Therefore, it is
23 impossible that I was in some kind of a joint criminal enterprise with the
24 top people of that regime. On the one hand they are working against me
25 and on the other hand I am in a joint criminal enterprise with them.
1 I also want to tell you that a few days ago I was threatened by
2 the Registrar that new restrictive measures would be imposed on me because
3 my congratulations sent to Vladimir Putin was published in the Belgrade
4 newspaper Pravda and I congratulated him on the victory of his party in
5 the elections held in Russia. So please prevent the Registrar from doing
6 that. I don't have a fax here on the premises, so can I please receive
7 during breaks, during the course of the day, documents from my
8 associates. Today it is indispensable for me to receive some 20 or 30
9 documents from my associates around 10.00, so could you please instruct
10 the guards to take me to an office in this building where I can receive
11 these documents by fax. There is no other way of doing this.
12 For January and February the OTP announced 16 witnesses. Eight of
13 them are Defence witnesses and they are not going to respond to
14 Prosecution summons unless you bring them in by force.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that the speaker should speak
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] One witness died in September 2007.
18 How are they going to organize that? Perhaps they're going to organize it
19 via videolink. I have a introduce a note of black humour because
20 obviously, the Prosecution does not even know that that witness died. The
21 Prosecution informed me that they would raise that on the session of the
22 8th of November, that is to say that some documents in relation to Rule 65
23 ter should be admitted directly into evidence. First I got a list of
24 these documents and then the documents themselves. I prepared myself for
25 that session, I brought five boxes of these documents here, you may
1 remember, the guards were carrying all of that behind me; however, nothing
2 came out of it, this did not happen on the 8th. I want to rule out any
3 possibility of having these documents admitted without me stating my
4 views, and I have to state my views in a public session. I will not have
5 any objections in relation to some documents, but I will have objections
6 in relation to others.
7 I also want to say something about Reynaud Theunens, an expert
8 witness who is supposed to testify. Two hours were planned by the
9 Prosecution for him, whereas I will require five hours. I will require
10 five hours for re-examination because his expert report is 400 pages; that
11 is very important for me, that is a very important Prosecution witness for
12 me. So I ask you in advance that you give me that time and then you can
13 take it off other witnesses' time. You will have other witnesses that
14 will not come and also the witness who's dead, so you can save time there.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 Mrs. Dahl maybe would like to answer quickly. There were six
17 items that were mentioned --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Seven I think.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
20 continues]... immediately. The question of the faxes your associates will
21 send around 10.30. I believe that your associates have a fax number and
22 the fax will come to the Tribunal and registrar will bring you these
23 documents over the break. So normally you should not have any problems
24 with this -- have with this fax communication with your associates.
25 There are two other items that did not call for any comments by
1 the Prosecution. You talked about restrictive measures in your mentioning
2 your congratulations to Vladimir Putin. It is true that I read this in
3 your submissions. I'm a bit surprised this led to problems. After all,
4 you're entitled to send your greetings to whoever you want. I do not
5 really understand the registry's position. Of course the Trial Chamber
6 will look into this.
7 Now, regarding the other items, I'm sure Mrs. Dahl has an opinion.
8 Mrs. Dahl, would you like to take the floor?
9 MS. DAHL: Thank you, Your Honour, I will take them in the order
10 that the accused raised them. I will look into the question regarding
11 redactions in the witness statement of VS-004. I will note that the
12 decision rejecting the motion pursuant to 89(F), 92 bis, 92 ter, and 92
13 quater requires a wholesale revision of the Prosecution's estimates on how
14 to present its case and the number of hours that would be required for
15 each witness. We are looking at the effect of the decision, including the
16 invitation to resubmit applications in respect of identified witnesses. I
17 would note that the Prosecution's estimates regarding the time required to
18 present its case were uniformly based on the anticipation that we would
19 have the ability to tender evidence in writing that was adopted by the
20 witnesses pursuant to the Rules.
21 Yesterday we filed a request with the Chamber to enlarge the time
22 in which we may seek certification for leave to appeal. One of the bases
23 for that request was rendered moot by the rejection of the application
24 under Rule 15. The other basis is to avoid a piecemeal litigation because
25 the decision pronounces that it is not final. There are other
1 applications for which the Chamber is waiting to rule based on anticipated
2 responses from the accused.
3 So we would like to wait to make our application for certification
4 to appeal the decision until we have a final order that disposes of all
5 the matters in a consolidated manner. I think --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl, yes, could you please
7 tell us exactly, have I listened to you and I'm a bit lost. I don't
8 understand. We rendered a decision regarding your motions 89(F), 92 bis,
9 92 ter, and 92 quater. A decision has been rendered on this. So either
10 this decision suits you; or if it doesn't suit you, ask for a
11 certification of appeal, that's one thing. Okay.
12 Secondly, you are saying that this decision will have consequences
13 on the time needed for -- to present your case, and therefore either you
14 have or you are going to submit a motion for additional time. Well, the
15 Trial Chamber did not get this. Of course the Trial Chamber will render
16 its decision on this and of course you will be allowed here to request a
17 certification of appeal. So you've -- when you mentioned this
18 certification of appeal, what did it deal with exactly, could you tell us?
19 MS. DAHL: What I filed yesterday was a motion for extension of
20 time because I considered that it would be prudent to await the final
21 disposition of the remaining items because the decision itself says that
22 it's not final, that there is more judicial work to be done. We haven't
23 requested more time to enlarge the presentation of the Prosecution's case
24 consequent upon this decision because we need to take it under advisement
25 and look at the case as a whole to see how it would affect the witnesses.
1 With regard to the witness today, I anticipate that I'll need more than
2 the four hours I've already estimated, but we had made all of our
3 estimates based on the ability to put most of our evidence in in dossier
4 format, meaning in writing, under the procedures available under the
6 Does that answer your question sufficiently?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Somewhat, yet thank you. Could
8 you please continue.
9 MS. DAHL: Consequent upon the decision, we will be adjusting the
10 time we need to examine Mr. Theunens' report. I don't have any objection
11 to enlarging the time that Mr. Seselj needs to cross-examine him. I don't
12 have a response to his request for the set of the documents, a specific
13 set of the documents from the Republic of Serbia. My understanding is
14 that we've already completely disclosed all of those materials. I'll need
15 to research that because I'm not exactly sure what he's asking for, and if
16 Mr. Seselj has information to which the Prosecution is not privy regarding
17 the death of a witness, I'd kindly ask him to inform us so that we avoid
18 wasting time.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 MS. DAHL: I will prepare a new production schedule now that we're
21 back in session to try to confirm witnesses' availabilities. Mr. VS-004
22 was available to testify last week. I need to put into place a new
23 production schedule with the witnesses updated.
24 We had subpoenaed two witnesses to appear the first week in
25 January, as the Court is aware, they sent -- the memorandum of service
1 indicates that they wish safe conduct orders. I filed motions for those
2 to resolve that concern and make it possible for them to travel. The
3 remainder of their requests are not within the policy and protocol of the
4 Tribunal. I conferred with the Victims and Witnesses Section and
5 understand that none of the requests by the witnesses can be satisfied. I
6 don't think that they prevent enforcement of the subpoena and I would
7 request the Chamber to issue a ruling on the safe conduct orders so that
8 we can then enforce the subpoenas as quickly as possible and give those
9 witnesses a new appearance date and make the travel arrangements that are
11 Finally, I want to ask the Chamber to please address the use of
12 the DVDs that the accused receives at the conclusion of every session.
13 They are posted on Mr. Seselj's web site. That in itself does not present
14 any problems. My concern is that if we go into closed session that he is
15 not permitted to distribute those disks or publish them on the web site,
16 and I don't want to find out about this problem, frankly, in arrears. I
17 would like to make sure this doesn't happen in advance. It's not for a
18 legitimate investigative purpose to disclose these CDs.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, let me immediately
20 ask you this. I am discovering that there is this new problem and I did
21 not know about it. The DVDs of the hearings, everything that is recorded
22 here, are disclosed to you. It seems that you have a web site and
23 everything is posted on the web site, but then we run into a huge
24 problem. When we have a closed hearing it is totally impossible to
25 publish or make public what was said in closed session. So what exactly
1 do you do in this respect, Mr. Seselj?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It happens, Mr. President, that
3 Madam Dahl invents a problem sometimes, perhaps due to idleness. I
4 receive a DVD with the recording of the entire proceedings. Apart from
5 the DVD from the beginning of the trial, the opening statement of the
6 Prosecution and my own statement, I have not had time to send a single DVD
7 to Belgrade; they're still in my cell. Never have I placed any of the
8 DVDs received from the registry on my internet web site. My collaborators
9 in Belgrade post on my web site exclusively recordings broadcast on
10 Serbian State Television. I don't know whether you're aware that the
11 Serbian State Television gave the recording of the beginning of the trial
12 and Anton Oberschall's statement or testimony, it was broadcast after
13 10.00 p.m. My collaborators take this from the TV and put it on my web
14 site. Madam Dahl is creating a problem where there is no problem because
15 I have never broadcast a single tiny little part of any closed session.
16 Secondly, as for the other issues raised by Madam Dahl, may I
17 state what I think of them?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, if you have a DVD
19 with part of the recording that was in closed session, you will not
20 disclose this to the public, you will not make it public, right?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not a child, Judge. Why would I
22 deny myself certain rights in these proceedings by violating certain
23 prohibitions? The only people I give this to is -- are my collaborators,
24 and it will not be broadcast anywhere unless a protective measure is
25 abolished. The only recordings broadcast on my internet site are those
1 from the state television of Serbia.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This is very clear.
3 So what else did you want to say as a reply?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As for what Madam Dahl has said, I
5 have received the text of the Prosecution motion for safe conduct, but I'm
6 waiting for the Chamber to hand down its decision concerning the objection
7 raised by the witnesses who have been issued by -- with a subpoena by
8 you. They have stated that they are my witnesses, not Prosecution
9 witnesses. If you force them to come, they will come, they won't flee;
10 but if they come, if they're coerced into coming, they will continue to
11 behave as Defence witnesses and they will refuse any contact or
12 conversation with the OTP. These are witnesses that were interviewed a
13 long time ago by the OTP as potential suspects, and that is the capacity
14 in which they made their statements. I have not received the transcript
15 of a single one of these interviews. They have to be disclosed to me but
16 they haven't been disclosed.
17 These people do not wish to be Prosecution witnesses; they want to
18 testify as my witnesses, and they have stated that explicitly. They speak
19 out in public in Serbia. I will not mention their names because here they
20 are considered to be protected witnesses, but they have made statements
21 for the newspapers. They have certified in court their statements that
22 they do not wish to be Prosecution witnesses but Defence witnesses. The
23 issue now is whether you will allow them to appear here as Prosecution --
24 as Defence witnesses.
25 In 2005 I contacted VS-011, and he gave me part of his interview
1 with the OTP and I published this in my book entitled: "The Devil's
2 Disciple, the Criminal Pope, John Paul II." He gave that to me and I
3 published it. I had no idea at the time that the Prosecution was counting
4 on him as a Prosecution witness. His name was disclosed to me at the end
5 of last year, two years after that event, up until that time I had already
6 agreed with him that he would appear here as a Defence witness. The case
7 of the others is similar, so don't allow the Prosecution to take these
8 witnesses away from me.
9 As for the Serbian government statement, it's true that the
10 Prosecution disclosed to me some of these statements but not all. There
11 are 426 documents in total and there -- the list of these documents is in
12 two parts. The motion of the Government of Serbia has two annexes, one
13 containing 27 documents and the other one 399. I want to receive the
14 entire set of these documents before there is a discussion on the Serbian
15 government motion. These documents are extremely important to me. Some
16 of them are supposed to prove criminal conduct of mine, alleged criminal
17 conduct, but no Court can accept this as evidence anywhere, in Italy, in
18 Denmark, or anywhere, and they cannot be considered evidence under an
19 Anglo-Saxon law either, but they are important to me because they show
20 that the regime used repressive measures against me and my collaborators
21 in 1991, 1992, 1993, in all the years relevant for the indictment.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Out of the 426 documents, the
23 Trial Chamber has been seized as to the issue of confidentiality of the
24 documents. We shall issue a decision, but that's not the urgent problem.
25 The urgent problem seems to be that there is a first batch of 27 documents
1 and a second batch of 399 documents. Mr. Seselj wants to have them, and
2 you said that you had disclosed them to you, I don't know. Did you give
3 it all? You are the only one to know.
4 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, we gave Mr. Seselj copies of the documents
5 we intend to use as evidence in this case. As far as I'm aware, this is
6 his first request to review all of them and I would treat that as a
7 request for disclosure under Rule 66 and proceed accordingly. I don't see
8 any impediment to ruling on a request to add that subset of documents to
9 our exhibit list.
10 I would like to go into private session for a moment to discuss
11 one remaining issue concerning a confidential filing.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, private session, please.
13 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are now in private session.
15 MS. DAHL: Mr. Seselj has made a motion to investigate me under
16 Rule 77 for contempt. I would like direction from the Chamber whether the
17 Prosecution should file a response or not. I don't presently see an
18 impediment to me continuing to lead the case.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is indeed a motion that
20 has been filed against you. The Trial Chamber is going to hand down a
21 decision. You are free to file a response if you wish to, no problem to
22 that. We are going to issue a decision, that goes without saying. For
23 the time being you are present here, but you are free to answer, to
24 respond to the filing by Mr. Seselj if you wish to, but you have to do so
25 quickly if you want to because we are to issue this decision shortly.
1 Let's move back to open session, please, and we're going to have
2 the witness brought in.
3 Open session, please.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we are now in open session.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, I only wish to submit a
7 motion to the Trial Chamber for this closed session or private session to
8 be declared public because there's nothing in there that the public is not
9 supposed to know. The fact that I submitted a criminal report against
10 Madam Dahl is public. Not a single detail has been mentioned here that
11 should be concealed from the public, so I move that this part of the
12 proceedings be made public.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation].
14 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I'm not getting any English
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I repeat. You had initially
17 four hours for this witness. Earlier on you said you needed an extension
18 of time. How much more time do you want?
19 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I think it would take me eight hours to go
20 through the documents we had foreseen and the full breadth of the witness
21 statement. If I can use the time today and give you a better estimate
22 tomorrow. There's a lot of detailed information in the statement we had
23 foreseen to tender.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll see. We'll see how it all
25 unfolds, because if you're given eight hours that means that Mr. Seselj is
1 going to be given eight hours as well. So the witness would stay here
2 basically next week as well. So that's the situation as we find it. I
3 don't know at all this witness. I don't know at all how the situation is
4 going to unfold. So we'll see as we go along.
5 Let's have the witness brought in for the solemn declaration,
6 Mr. Usher.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Let me first
9 check that you can hear me in your own language. If you hear the
10 interpretation say, I understand.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You're going to make
13 the solemn declaration. You need to stand up to do so. For the
14 transcript could you please state your name, first name and date of birth.
15 One moment, please. Before, you have to give your name, your
16 first name and your date of birth.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Goran Stoparic, the 17th of January,
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have a current occupation
20 or not?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have my own company, my
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Have you had an
24 opportunity to testify before an international court of law as to the
25 events that took place in the former Yugoslavia or before a national
1 court, or is this the first time you're going to testify?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, this is not the first time I'm
3 testifying. I've already testified before this Tribunal and in two war
4 crimes trials in Serbia.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you've testified
6 here already, in which case?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Milutinovic et al.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you testified twice in
9 Serbia. In which cases did you testify?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Podujevo case and the Skorpions
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. Please
13 make the solemn declaration.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
15 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. Please be
18 Some preliminary information as to the way the testimony is going
19 to take place. You'll have to answer questions put to you by Ms. Dahl. I
20 suppose you have met her as part of your preparation for this hearing.
21 Ms. Dahl will use some time to put questions to you and she will submit
22 documents to you. When you answer questions, please try to be specific
23 and clear in your answers. Once this is over, Mr. Seselj, who's sitting
24 on your left, he's the accused, he's going to put questions to you as well
25 as part of what is termed the cross-examination. He will, therefore, ask
1 questions of you on the topics raised during examination-in-chief.
2 You have three Judges in front of you; at any time they're free to
3 ask questions as per the Rules. Technically we'd rather wait until all
4 parties have asked their questions, but sometimes when a document is
5 submitted to all in court it may be that one of the Judges wants to put a
6 question about it in order to avoid having to deal with it again later on
7 in order not to waste time.
8 We usually have breaks every hour and a half for 20 minutes for
9 you to have a rest and also to put in new tapes. If at any time you do
10 not feel well, don't hesitate, tell us you want to have a break. That can
11 happen, unfortunately. If you have a question you want to put to the
12 Bench, if you feel the need to do so, again do not hesitate to say so.
13 So there it is.
14 Ms. Dahl, you have the floor.
15 MS. DAHL: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 WITNESS: GORAN STOPARIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examination by Ms. Dahl:
19 Q. Mr. Stoparic, have you ever served in the military?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. When did you join the military service and what service did you
23 A. I did my military service in 1987. That was then the JNA. I
24 served in Pristina.
25 Q. How long did you serve beginning in 1987?
1 A. One year.
2 Q. Did you volunteer for military service at some point in time
4 A. I don't understand your question.
5 Q. Were you in the military in 1991?
6 A. I was a volunteer.
7 Q. Can you describe for me how it was you decided to become a
9 A. In 1991 I simply decided to become a volunteer. How? Well, there
10 were different factors influencing my decision. The political situation,
11 the situation in society, the media. I considered that my people were
12 under threat.
13 Q. Do you -- have you ever heard speeches by Mr. Seselj during 1991?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What were the subjects of the speeches you heard from Mr. Seselj?
16 A. In 1991, Mr. Seselj held many speeches. He held many speeches in
17 his political career. In 1991 he explained - how can I put this
18 briefly? - that there might again be a genocide against the Serbs. He
19 spoke of the separation of Croatia, the status of the Serbs in Croatia.
20 That was it in general.
21 Q. Are you familiar with a concept called Greater Serbia?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What is it?
24 A. What it is exactly, I don't know, but I do know that it was one of
25 the standpoints in the programme of the Serbian Radical Party.
1 Q. Where were you living in 1991?
2 A. In Srem, the town of Sid.
3 Q. Did Mr. Seselj have a political party with offices in Sid in 1991?
4 A. Committees? I don't understand. In 1991 the Serbian Radical
5 Party in Sid was set up. I don't know the date, but I know that it was
6 founded in Milenko Petric's house.
7 Q. Did you learn of a call for volunteers by the Serbian Radical
8 Party in 1991?
9 A. Yes, but the call did not come only from the Serbian Radical
10 Party. I did learn of it, yes.
11 Q. Who else gave that call?
12 A. Various politicians. Before Mr. Seselj the Serbian national
13 interests were mentioned first by Vuk Draskovic, to the best of my
14 recollection. He spoke of it in a different way than the Serbian Radical
15 Party did, but he was one of those who spoke of it at the time.
16 Q. How did Mr. Seselj speak of the Serbian national interests?
17 A. I don't understand what you mean by "how."
18 Q. What did he say about them? What did he say should be done to
19 effect them?
20 A. What did he say? Well, everybody knows what he said. He said
21 that the Serbs were imperilled, that the new Croatian authorities did not
22 have good intentions as regards the Serbs, that if the Croats were leaving
23 Yugoslavia, the Serbs in Croatia had the right to remain in Yugoslavia.
24 Q. How did you react to hearing this information?
25 A. Well, you see, while I was young and went to school in Serbia, we
1 learned a lot of things in school about World War II, about the Ustasha,
2 about the Chetniks, although at that time we saw them as identical. The
3 Ustasha and the Chetniks were equated by the then-communist authorities.
4 They called them domestic traitors, but we knew quite a lot about the
5 Ustasha crimes and atrocities. We even learned about some atrocities
6 committed by the Chetniks. So we knew many things. As citizens --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you're now dealing with
8 a question that I deem important. You are now speaking about the fact
9 that Ustashas and Chetniks had been mentioned. I'd like to know this:
10 When young people of your generation would go to school in the communist
11 era, did you have history classes? For instance, did you have classes on
12 what happened during the Second World War? I mean, you went to school
13 like everybody. Can you answer this question?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We learned everything about
15 World War II and not just on the territory of Yugoslavia.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You answered my question. Thank
18 Please proceed, Ms. Dahl.
19 MS. DAHL:
20 Q. What is meant by the term "Chetniks," from what you learned in
22 A. Based on what I learned in school, to say -- to speak the
23 word "Chetnik" was prohibited in a way, as was the word "Ustasha." We
24 learned that they were domestic traitors. In historical terms, as far as
25 I know, in World War II the Chetniks were the Serbian royalist army under
1 the command of Draza Mihajlovic. They were the homeland army, but the
2 people referred to them as Chetniks and this may have been due to their
3 methods of fighting. They were a form of guerilla, and the word "Chetnik"
4 refers to companies, military units, and the Ustasha were in the
5 independent state of Croatia as it was then called.
6 Q. Did you hear or learn from listening to Mr. Seselj's speeches a
7 new definition of "Chetnik"?
8 A. Well, you see, as I told you, in school we all learned what the
9 Chetniks were and what the Ustasha were, but as a Serb I also heard about
10 this from my father at home, and what he told me was not the same as what
11 I learned in school and the same happened with the Croats. So I didn't
12 hear anything new about the Chetniks from Mr. Seselj, but historical
13 facts, dates, and so on, Mr. Seselj knew a lot of that better than all the
14 rest of us did.
15 Q. And how did he describe Chetniks?
16 A. Chetniks, in a word: Patriots.
17 Q. Were you inspired by his view of Chetniks?
18 A. Of course.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in the speeches of the
20 time, in 1991, on Chetniks, was Mr. Seselj the only one to speak about
21 these patriots or were there other politicians who would also speak about
22 it? Was this a -- an issue that only Mr. Seselj dealt with: Chetniks
23 equals patriots?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I wouldn't say that only
25 Mr. Seselj spoke about this. Quite simply, a few years before all these
1 events it had been a taboo topic, not to be spoken of in public. However,
2 in 1991 the situation changed and will one could speak about this in
3 public. No, Mr. Seselj was not the only one to speak about it. I always
4 mention Vuk Draskovic as well because he referred to this many times.
5 Every year they went to Ravna Gora where they erected a monument to
6 General Draza Mihajlovic.
7 MS. DAHL:
8 Q. What was happening in Yugoslavia in the middle of 1991 politically
9 in terms of the republics?
10 A. Some of the republics declared secession, first Slovenia, then
11 Croatia, and after that Bosnia-Herzegovina too.
12 Q. Can you describe briefly the process of your volunteering for
13 military service again in 1991?
14 A. I became a volunteer by applying to the Territorial Defence of
15 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. They had an office in my town, and
16 quite simply one afternoon I went there, I brought my personal documents,
17 my military booklet, and I applied. On the following day they gave me
18 weapons and two days later I was already in action attacking the village
19 of Tovarnik.
20 Q. Did you receive any training before you were put into action?
21 A. I only checked that the weapons I was issued with were in good
23 Q. Let me ask you to take a look at 65 ter Exhibit Number 32. That
24 will show up on your screen.
25 A. Yes, I can see my military booklet.
1 Q. Can you tell me what that is.
2 A. Well, we call it military booklet. It's a document which every
3 citizen of the then-Yugoslavia had to have.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl, you speak about
5 document number 32. Which document is it in your folder, in your binder?
6 MS. DAHL: It should be the first one.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. Thank you.
8 For it to be clear, please say that the document is the first one
9 in the binder. It will be easier for us to follow.
10 MS. DAHL:
11 Q. Is the record of your service contained in the booklet?
12 A. Yes.
13 MS. DAHL: I'd like to move this into evidence.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall decide just with one
15 decision. We're not going to give the floor to the deputy each time. We
16 do note that you asked for this to be moved into evidence, but we will
17 make a decision later on.
18 MS. DAHL:
19 Q. How long did your status as a Territorial Defence volunteer last?
20 A. In the Territorial Defence of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western
21 Srem? Usually when you just refer to the TO, then it would not refer to
22 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem; it would be more like the regular TO
23 in Serbia or the Yugoslav TO. However, at that time the territory of
24 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem established its own TO, so that's why
25 it was called what it was. I think I remained there about two weeks,
1 maybe even less.
2 Q. Who established the TO for south-western Baranja and Western
4 A. Who established it? Well, at that time there was some body in
5 that field -- well, not in the sense of a government or I don't know what,
6 but something like a Crisis Staff, whatever, they established it.
7 Q. What coordinated the distribution of your weapons?
8 A. You mean the first weapon I got --
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. -- as a member of the Territorial Defence? I got a weapon at a
11 military facility in Sid. It was a temporary military facility of the
12 Yugoslav People's Army. They gave us weapons.
13 Q. Did you form into platoons and squads?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Were there other volunteers arriving in Sid to serve?
16 A. Quite a few people came, mostly from Vojvodina.
17 Q. Did the JNA have a barracks there at the time?
18 A. No, no, it was a civilian building that they took up, so it was a
19 temporary facility then; but right now it is a permanent military
21 Q. Was there a conflict going on in Vukovar at the time?
22 A. At that time the conflict in Vukovar had begun. Soldiers in the
23 barracks were under a blockade. An action was prepared for deblocking the
24 barracks. I'm talking about those two weeks while I was among the
25 Territorial Defence of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
1 Q. You said before you went into action at the village of Tovarnik.
2 What was the purpose of taking that village?
3 A. What was the purpose of taking it? Well, the purpose of taking it
4 is to take control of that area. The village of Tovarnik is very close to
5 me. Well, the population was half-half Serb and Croat before the war. I
6 don't know what the situation is now. Quite simply, it's on the road to
7 Vukovar. If you want to reach Vukovar to deblock the barracks and to take
8 the city, you have to control all the access routes to town, and Tovarnik
9 is only the first village on that route.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, there's an item
11 that we need to understand. While I was listening to you I was looking at
12 your military record, your military booklet, because a military booklet is
13 something that gives a lot of information. You know exactly what the
14 holder did. So this concept of volunteer, I believe it's quite a problem
15 because you go to the Territorial Defence, you show your military booklet,
16 and at this moment did the Territorial Defence keep your military
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no one has the right to take
19 away your military booklet. When you are in uniform that is the only ID
20 you have. You're always supposed to have your military booklet on you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me what date
22 exactly you went to the Territorial Defence, since two days later you were
23 in front of the village of Tovarnik. So when did you go to the
24 Territorial Defence?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was September 1991, the
1 beginning. I don't know exactly.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your military booklet there
3 is a column on participation to combat. There are four entries: June 13,
4 1993; June 23, 1993; then April 14, 1992; April 28, 1992; then July 8,
5 1992; October 8, 1992; and then October 8, 1992; and December -- 9
6 December 1992. But there's nothing for 1991 in this military booklet.
7 Could you please tell us why there's no mention of 1991 in this booklet?
8 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, if I may, I have the original booklet
9 here, if I can give that to the witness so he can look through the pages
10 you're flipping through. This bears the same evidence registration
11 numbers that appear in the exhibit that is in electronic form.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
13 So this is our question: Why is it that the period when you were
14 in the TO is not on your military booklet? There's no entry of this on
15 your military booklet.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we see in this military
17 booklet that the person who created this military booklet created it in
18 such a way by putting only four possibilities, four options of
19 participating in a war. In 1991 -- well, I don't even have 1991 entered
20 in my military booklet, like many other fields where I participated. You
21 will see here that it is first 1993 and then 1992. I have that in
22 different documents. This was done in a piecemeal way and, quite simply,
23 I could have expressed my own wish and said, I don't want to have this in
24 my military booklet, and that's it. People wanted these stamps in order
25 to exercise certain rights in the companies where they worked and so on.
1 So I simply have all of this on other documents.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll take -- please
3 give back your military booklet and Mrs. Dahl can pursue.
4 MS. DAHL:
5 Q. How did you end up in the unit of the Leva Supoderica?
6 A. Well, after the village of Tovarnik, Ilaca, and Djeletovci were
7 taken, we were withdrawn, or rather, my platoon. Quite simply, this unit
8 was disbanded and all the platoons were transferred to other units, and my
9 platoon was transported to Lipovaca, picnic grounds near Sid. We had a
10 short training course there, and from there we were sent to the Vukovar
11 theatre of war and that is where we were attached to the Leva Supoderica
13 Q. What kind of training did you receive at Lipovaca?
14 A. Well, basic infantry training and drills -- well, I had already
15 fought in those three villages, but urban warfare is a different matter,
16 fighting in built-up areas. During the course of your military service
17 you cannot really learn something like that. It's not like when it really
18 happens. People who were considered experienced were brought in and they
19 tried to explain to us how one should act while fighting in built-up
20 areas, how to use hand-grenades, hand-held rocket-launchers, whatever.
21 Q. Did you learn how to communicate with civilians during combat
23 A. I don't understand what kind of communication with civilians you
24 are talking about.
25 Q. If you -- were you trained how to deal with civilians you found
1 hiding in buildings?
2 A. We did not have any special training of that kind.
3 Q. Were you given any instructions to advise them about the Geneva
5 A. Well, you see, Vukovar is also a small town but with a mixed
6 population, Serbs, Croats, Ruthenians, Slovaks lived there. So when it
7 was being taken it had to be taken house by house quite literally because
8 of the large-scale artillery preparations that were carried out by the JNA
9 and of course the Croat forces were also shelling with mortars. The
10 population was in the houses, and when we were searching the houses we had
11 to search the basements too. You would usually stand by the windows of
12 the basements and we would say, This is the JNA, you will be treated in
13 accordance with all the rules. As for the Geneva Conventions, well, that
14 was not mentioned. But at any rate, we said, According to the rules.
15 Please come out. We will count to three or four or five, whatever people
16 said, and then we will throw in a hand-grenade. Usually people would come
17 out then.
18 Q. Why did you tell them that you were with the JNA?
19 A. Well, the JNA was the mainstay of everything out there, and how
20 can I come and say, Get out, here's a Chetnik? The Croats -- all the
21 Croats called us Chetniks, all of us, but it's logical for us to say that
22 we are the JNA. But by virtue of the fact that I am a volunteer and a
23 member of Leva Supoderica, I'm within the composition of the 1st Guards
24 Brigade, I got my salary from the 1st Guards Brigade. The fact that we
25 call ourselves Chetniks or that others call us Chetniks -- well, we're the
1 JNA because according to our law, a reservist or a volunteer is one and
2 the same thing. A volunteer is a person who volunteered in a unit,
3 whereas reservists were called up. All of that was equated later.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you're talking about
5 something very important. You were talking about volunteers, but now
6 you're saying that you were member of the 1st brigade of guards -- 1st
7 Guards Brigade.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So my question is simple: Were
10 you a military man?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the Vukovar operations, you mean?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In Vukovar and before that.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before that -- well, in Vukovar I
14 was a member of the Leva Supoderica Detachment that was within the 1st
15 Guards Brigade. By virtue of that fact I was a member of the 1st Guards
16 Brigade of the JNA as well.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. So you were a member of
18 the JNA in Vukovar, but before that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before that I was a member for a
20 very brief period of time of the Territorial Defence of Slavonia, Baranja,
21 and Western Srem, which was also under the command of the JNA.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you were in
23 military clothes, you had weapons, and you had -- you were under a
24 military command?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 MS. DAHL:
3 Q. Who was the commander of the unit?
4 A. Milan Lancuzanin was the commander of my unit.
5 Q. Does he have a nickname?
6 A. Yes, he was called Kameni, like his father.
7 Q. Do you know whether the commander had ties with the Serbian
8 Radical Party?
9 A. At the very beginning I didn't know until I was told over there.
10 On the first or second day as we were being lined up in Nova Ulica, and
11 that was very short, I was told that most of the volunteers were
12 volunteers that were organized by the Serb Radical Party -- well, we were
13 attached there to the command of the 1st Guards Brigade and we would act
14 in a coordinated manner with them in further operations, except that we
15 volunteers elected squad and platoon leaders amongst ourselves. We did
16 not get any instructions from the JNA about that.
17 Q. How did you organize your squads and platoons of volunteers?
18 A. In the same way like any other army. Company commander, platoon
19 commander, every platoon had two or more squads. There were squad leaders
21 Q. Did the volunteers from the -- organized by the Radical Party stay
22 together in the organizational units?
23 A. I don't understand. Are you referring to the field of Vukovar or
24 are you speaking in general terms?
25 Q. I want to focus on the individuals commanded by Kameni in the Leva
1 Supoderica Detachment.
2 A. Well, you see, in the Leva Supoderica Detachment there weren't
3 only people from Serbia who were organized by the Serb Radical Party;
4 there was a certain number of people who were from among the local
5 population of Vukovar, not very many of them because usually they would
6 belong to the Territorial Defence there but there were a number of them in
7 our unit too. It is only logical. We needed people who were from the
8 area itself. They were familiar with locations, with the area, and we
9 didn't know. We were newcomers and the commander himself was a local man.
10 Q. So where did the volunteers come from if they weren't local?
11 A. Well, they came in groups. There was a big group of people who
12 were from Novi Sad, the area around Novi Sad, Vojvodina, later on a group
13 of people from Nis came and from that area, from Serbia.
14 Q. Did you receive uniforms that had insignia and patches on them?
15 A. I personally, no, not I personally. My platoon, when it arrived
16 in Vukovar, it was sent to Velepromet. We had lunch there and a man came
17 there who introduced himself as the deputy commander of Leva Supoderica.
18 He gave us camouflage uniforms and camouflage berets. As for insignia,
19 whether they were sewn on to the uniforms, they had been sewn on to the
20 uniforms -- I don't think there was anything on the uniforms then.
21 Q. Did you receive patches or did you get patches later to put on the
23 A. No, it was the beginning of the war. As for some organized
24 insignia -- well, no. I personally wore a cockade but many others could
25 wear either insignia of the Territorial Defence of Slavonia, Baranja, and
1 Western Srem, some wore the JNA insignia, some even had the red star,
2 five-pointed red star. There were different insignia.
3 Q. Did you see any insignia for the Chetnik Movement?
4 A. Insignia for the Chetnik Movement? What would that be? It would
5 probably be the cockade.
6 Q. Can you explain to the judges what a cockade is?
7 A. Cockade, kokarda, well it's a symbol, or rather, it would be a
8 coat of arms, a Serb coat of arms of the old Serbia, the Kingdom of
9 Serbia. It was worn on uniforms or something similar to a cockade, well
10 people tend to say that anything that looks like a cockade is a cockade,
11 but it's very hard to explain, cockade, kokarda. Anything that was a Serb
12 coat of arms was called cockade by people, although there are such things
13 including two eagles or a skull and bones, different things.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How was your cockade?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Oh, I had the one with the skull.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who gave you this kokarda? Did
17 you buy it? Did you get it from the political party? Where did you
18 obtain it?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, then in 1991 it was my own. I
20 had bought it or I had got it from someone.
21 MS. DAHL:
22 Q. You had said that the deputy commander had distributed some
23 camouflage uniforms. What was the name of the deputy commander?
24 A. We called him Tito. It was very hard to remember his name, but I
25 think I managed to remember it, Zoran Ubiparipovic, but he was wounded on
1 the very next day or the day after that in the first larger operation that
2 we had there.
3 Q. Do you know who was the commander of the Territorial Defence in
5 A. The commander of the Territorial Defence in Vukovar was
6 Miroljub -- Miroljub Vujovic, I think.
7 Q. Did Kameni tell you who was to command the units to go into
9 A. Well, we were already in Vukovar. I don't understand.
10 Q. What was the relationship between the detachment and the
11 Territorial Defence in Vukovar?
12 A. There was coordination, coordinated action. Even the Territorial
13 Defence of Vukovar was under the control of the JNA.
14 Q. What did Kameni tell you about the -- who was the commander of the
16 A. I don't remember that he told me who the commander of the brigade
18 Q. Did you hear any information about Seselj's relationship to the
19 Leva Supoderica Detachment?
20 A. Well, you see, at that time we were engaged in intensive warfare,
21 but in the evening we would sit there at the command and people did say
22 that Vojvoda Seselj was our Commander-in-Chief, but this was -- well, it
23 was my understanding that this was imaginary because in the field itself
24 it was the JNA who were the commanders-in-chief. But quite simply, this
25 was a man who organized volunteers and sent them to the theatre of war,
1 but now this is the very beginning. If I start speaking at greater
2 length, perhaps I may confuse things and start talking about things that
3 happened in 1992 and things like that. Well, nothing really. He said
4 that Mr. Seselj organized volunteers and the Serb Radical Party did too.
5 We called ourselves Chetniks. There was also a section in the Serb
6 Radical Party that was called the Serb Chetnik Movement, but I cannot say
7 at that time in Vukovar whether that is the way it was all organized.
8 Q. What was the purpose of the Serb fighting forces in Vukovar?
9 A. Well, what's the purpose of any army? To take control of an area,
10 to destroy the Croat forces. At that time they were paramilitary forces
11 as far as we were concerned. That was the objective, to destroy them and
12 establish control over the area.
13 Q. Did you consider that you were trying to liberate the territory
14 for Serbs?
15 A. You see, when we take a location, a street, the Serbs who happened
16 to be there usually joined the Territorial Defence, the TO of Vukovar.
17 And the Croats get taken away for exchanges. I did not follow where it
18 was that they were going. Well, some were killed, but then again that is
19 a matter of various individuals. It is logical if the Serbs control the
20 town that Croats would leave it, would leave the area.
21 Q. What happened to the civilians who were leaving the town?
22 A. I personally do not know what happened, in what way they were
23 being evacuated, whether anything had been organized. Probably that was
24 the case when Vukovar was liberated and -- well, after two weeks it was a
25 Serb town.
1 Q. Did you see civilians being mistreated?
2 A. Well, yes, I did.
3 Q. Can you describe that?
4 A. Well, I have already said that to mistreat a civilian, that was
5 something that the individual who found them in a basement did. There was
6 simply evil people and they could not be controlled always. The situation
7 could not always be under control.
8 Q. What would happen when it got out of control?
9 A. Well, for a while they could behave inappropriately, mistreat
10 people, even kill them, until the military police or somebody else came
11 along. If the military police was there such things would not happen.
12 Q. Did you hear any speeches by Seselj while you were in Sid?
13 A. More than once I listened to Mr. Seselj in Sid over an extended
14 period of time. I don't know precisely when. I don't know the dates
15 exactly, but once I listened to him in a sports field in Sid, later on in
16 the centre of town, then in the premises of the Serb Radical Party in a
17 nearby restaurant, and in Vukovar. We were sitting in a restaurant or a
18 coffee bar belonging to Stanko Vujanovic and that is when we were
19 celebrating the first anniversary of the fall of Vukovar. So yes, I did
20 hear what Mr. Seselj when he made speeches if that's what you said.
21 Q. Let me take you back in time a little bit so that we're talking
22 about the events in Vukovar. Did you --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You shall do so later on. The
24 time has come for a break. It's 10.00. We're going to break for 20
1 --- Recess taken at 10.02 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 10.24 a.m.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. I'd
4 like address Mr. Seselj on the issue of faxes. The registrar tried to
5 look into the matter. The problem is as follows. The fax or faxes sent
6 by your associates are to arrive in one of the registry offices, and you
7 said that you did not want anybody to take the documents. It is,
8 therefore, impossible for you to move around the Tribunal premises to go
9 and get the faxes. It looks as though the solution might be for the
10 registry to see to it that you have available in the room where you are
11 when you come to court to have a fax machine so that the documents can
12 arrive on that fax and you can get them straight away. Otherwise, it's
13 not possible for you to move about the Tribunal to go and get the faxes.
14 So it seems from the registry that it can only be implemented as of
15 tomorrow. Today it's impossible to get the fax machine. This is what I
16 wanted to tell you, Mr. Seselj.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm satisfied with
18 this solution, as the OTP has announced that they will take more time to
19 examine this witness so it's not urgent for me to receive this today, but
20 I hope you understand that I do not trust the registry because it's
21 evident to me that the registry has been working hand in hand with the OTP
22 over the past five years and the former deputy registrar David Tolbert is
23 now the Deputy Prosecutor. So as far as I'm concerned is all one and the
24 same unit, one and the same service. I have to receive my documents in my
25 own hands from my collaborators if they're not in The Hague, but tomorrow
1 is not too late.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
3 continues]... the fax machine is available to you in that room so you can
4 get faxes during the breaks.
5 Let's proceed.
6 MS. DAHL:
7 Q. Mr. Stoparic, I want to go back to the formation of the unit that
8 went into Vukovar, so let me take you back in time to September 1991 in
9 Djeletovci. I think I've pronounced it wrong. Djeletovci. Did you meet
10 a man there named Slobodan Medic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Who is he?
13 A. I know who he is now. If you're asking me who he was then, I
14 don't know what you want me to say.
15 Q. When you met him for the first time, who did he appear to be?
16 A. He was the commander of a unit of about 20 men. What struck me
17 then was their equipment, their appearance. They looked very different
18 from us. They had more expensive and better equipment and gear.
19 Q. Can you compare their level of training to your group?
20 A. I don't know what their training was at that time. I'm just
21 saying that they looked more -- well, they had more expensive uniforms and
23 Q. Now, you said later you learned information about Slobodan Medic.
24 What was that?
25 A. Later on I was even a member of his unit, but in 1991, yes, I
1 learned that he was a member, or rather, the commander of a special unit
2 which was being formed and that they were in charge of the oil rigs in the
3 village of Djeletovci.
4 Q. Who was forming that unit?
5 A. To the best of my knowledge at the time, the first person to form
6 that unit, to engage in forming that unit is a man whose name I can't
7 remember right now but a high-ranking officer of the Serbian MUP known as
8 Badza. He was in the Krajina at the time and he was in charge of forming
9 the Territorial Defence in that area.
10 Q. Now, let me take you to a meeting you had in a restaurant in
11 Lipovaca about the formation of the unit to go into Vukovar. Do you
12 remember being at the restaurant hotel?
13 A. The Lipovaca facility is a picnic ground in the Sid municipality
14 and there is a restaurant there where we were quartered and it also had
15 some hotel rooms at the time.
16 Q. Did you receive a visit from Slobodan Grahovac, the minister of
18 A. Well, whether he was the minister of defence, I don't know, but he
19 was in the Ministry of Defence. He may have become minister later, but
20 yes, his name was Slobodan Grahovac and he was with another man, I think
21 his lasting name was Filipovic.
22 Q. Which minister -- or which government organization was he with?
23 A. In the government but not the Serbian government he was there on
24 behalf of the Territorial Defence of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem
25 or on behalf of the district of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. They
1 had some sort of government at the time or they were establishing one, but
2 he was in any case a representative of that territorial district.
3 Q. Did he make a speech that you listened to there?
4 A. Yes, he told us that there would be a slaughter-house there, that
5 it's not an ordinary war, that people were being killed there, that this
6 was no military exercise, no manoeuvre. He said that whoever does not
7 feel prepared may leave now. Well, he -- that was the gist of what he
8 said. He said that the Ustasha forces there were very strong.
9 Q. Where was he referring to when he used the term "the
11 A. He didn't mention any place explicitly, but he was referring to
12 Vukovar, the slaughter-house where people were being killed, that's how I
13 understood him. That was the word he used. He said, You're going to a
14 slaughter-house. Don't imagine you're going for a military exercise.
15 Q. What did Mr. Grahovac tell you about who would be instructing you
16 before going to Vukovar?
17 A. At that time four or five men arrived. One was nicknamed Djovani
18 and there were three or four others who were dressed in traditional
19 Chetnik uniforms, the sort you would see in Veljko Bulajic's films.
20 Veljko Bulajic was a film director, they had black uniforms, war beards.
21 The main training was conducted by the man nicknamed Djovani and he was
22 very professional.
23 Q. Were they training you in traditional Chetnik weapons?
24 A. You have to tell me what traditional Chetnik weapons are.
25 Q. Did they tell you stories about Chetniks?
1 A. Well, they couldn't tell me anything I didn't know already. There
2 was a man there called Ljuba Ivanovic. He spoke about a Chetnik code of
3 conduct, about an oath which we never actually took, but they already had
4 some war experience, and so did I, from the village of Tovarnik and
5 Djeletovci, but they had, in my view at the time, more experience than I
7 Q. Do you remember the names of the other Chetnik instructors?
8 A. We considered them to be instructors. Whether they actually were
9 instructors, I don't know, but I remember a man nicknamed Bokal, I've
10 forgotten his name, and another man called Milovan Tomic and several
11 others. I may have remembered their names earlier but they escape me
12 now. Yes, I think there was a man called Vladan Lukic or something like
13 that. I know he was killed very early on in Vukovar.
14 Q. Now let me turn your attention to the command post for the
15 detachment in Vukovar for the Leva Supoderica Detachment. Did you learn
16 about the -- how supplies were -- I'm sorry. Did you learn while you were
17 at the command post about any relationship between the Radical Party and
18 the Leva Supoderica Detachment?
19 A. What I knew or heard at the time, and I heard that for the most
20 part from a man who was I think our Chief of Staff or something like that,
21 Slobodan Katic, and he was some sort of liaison. He travelled to Belgrade
22 and back, but I don't know all the details precisely.
23 Q. Was Mr. Katic a member of the Radical Party?
24 A. Probably, yes.
25 Q. What function did he serve when he was travelling back and forth?
1 A. I can't precisely. It's possible that he was a liaison. We could
2 ask for something as a unit, something that the radical party could
3 organize for us or get for us through their channels. Perhaps more men.
4 He was Chief of Staff and it was in his job description to coordinate
5 between the army and the party. I don't know.
6 Q. What kinds of things did he coordinate? You mentioned men. What
7 other -- can you give us some examples of what he did?
8 A. I can't give you examples. He didn't confide in me. We sat
9 together in a restaurant several times in the course of the war and in my
10 house in Sid when we were on leave for a day, but he didn't tell me
11 specifically what his mission was. Simply, as a member of that unit, I
12 considered him to be even deputy commander for a while because he was
13 doing an enormous job there. But what he did precisely, I can't tell you,
14 I don't know.
15 Q. Did he ever give you or other members of the unit gifts from
16 Mr. Seselj?
17 A. Not to me. I never received a gift.
18 Q. Did you see him deliver gifts to other people that came in the
20 A. I only heard about this, that there were gifts. I don't know
21 whether they were from Mr. Seselj or not, but the gifts were symbolic
22 probably. I can't remember what they were.
23 Q. Did you receive a membership card in the Radical Party as part of
24 your assignment in the Leva Supoderica Detachment?
25 A. No, no. I only had a pass allowing me to move around during the
1 combat operation which said that I was a member of the Leva Supoderica
3 Q. Were members of that detachment who were volunteers supposed to be
4 members of the Radical Party?
5 A. Probably, yes, they were all members and if some were not, maybe,
6 well, they joined later on.
7 Q. Who is Zoran Drazilovic?
8 A. Zoran Drazilovic is a man who held some sort of post in the Crisis
9 Staff of the Serbian Radical Party. I don't know much about him. I know
10 what he looked like and I spoke to him once a very long time ago when I
11 went out on the ground from Belgrade and I opened a file with him. He
12 entered my name and whether I had a tour or not somewhere, identifying
13 features if I were killed somewhere, my address. There was a photocopying
14 shop nearby. I took -- I made a photocopy of the photo on my ID card and
15 I gave it to him and that was the extent of my conversation with him.
16 Q. In this conversation with Mr. Drazilovic, were you being enrolled
17 in something? You mentioned filling out some forms.
18 A. The Serb Radical Party, I can't be certain but certainly they kept
19 records. They had files on their volunteers, and he filled those files
20 in, those cards. If you're asking me whether I was a party member at the
21 time, I was already a member. I'm talking about my encounter with him
22 which was official and that was in 1992 probably, not 1991. After that
23 when that file was filled in I was sent to some barracks for brief
24 training and after that on the ground.
25 Q. Are you aware --
1 A. The barracks were in Bubanj Potok.
2 Q. Are you aware of anyone who was kicked out of the Leva Supoderica
3 Detachment because he did not belong to the Serbian Radical Party?
4 A. I don't know whether he was not a member, but I do know that this
5 former deputy of -- well, Ubiparipovic was accused of being a member of
6 the SPO, the Serbian Renewal Movement, and they expelled him, they kicked
7 him out. And the reason they gave was that he was a member of the SPO or
8 an SPO spy or something like that.
9 Q. In connection with him being kicked out, did you see him beaten?
10 A. As I said, they processed him physically. He was tied up, he was
11 tied up in the basement, and it lasted a day.
12 Q. In the basement of where?
13 A. In Kameni's house.
14 Q. Did you see him there tied up in the basement?
15 A. Yes. He was tied to the pipes, the plumbing pipes on the ceiling.
16 Q. Who tied him there?
17 A. As to who tied him, I didn't see that. When I entered the
18 basement that's what I saw, he was already there.
19 Q. Was Kameni there in the house?
20 A. He was possibly up -- he may have been upstairs. He wasn't in the
22 Q. Did you see anything else happen to him in connection with his
23 processing out of the Leva Supoderica Detachment?
24 A. Yes, there's a very banal situation. I saw him a year or two
25 later on in company with Kameni sitting in a restaurant, that same man,
1 which means they became reconciled afterwards probably.
2 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Seselj was aware of the situation in
3 Vukovar with regard to the fighting?
4 A. He probably was. Why wouldn't he be? He visited us in Vukovar.
5 Q. Can you tell me about the -- one of the visits of Seselj when you
6 were in Vukovar. Tell me what happened.
7 A. I know about the one visit. Quite simply, he turned up. I didn't
8 know he was going to arrive, nobody mentioned it probably for security
9 reasons. He simply visited us. He was taken round. It wasn't just us,
10 members of Leva Supoderica, there were also officers from the 1st Guards
11 Brigade who took him round to the front line, to Prvomajska street.
12 Q. Did he make a speech while he was touring Vukovar?
13 A. It wasn't exactly a speech. As he walked along, he spoke. He
14 didn't stand up and hold a rally. That would have been a stupid thing to
15 do, we could have all been killed, we were in danger from Croat mortars.
16 Q. Was he addressing the soldiers around him?
17 A. Mr. Seselj had come to visit, and of course they listened to what
18 he said. He spoke about various matters. I can't quote everything he
20 Q. What do you remember him talking about?
21 A. I remember that a group of men who were there in Prvomajska Street
22 took him to show him four members of the ZNG who had been killed and three
23 or four Croatian policemen. We had liquidated them the previous day, and
24 I know that jokingly he said, Why don't you burn the corpses, you might
25 catch a disease or something. Later on he tried to fire shots at a house
1 across the road. He couldn't see any enemies there, but as a symbolic
2 gesture he fired shots in the direction where the Croatian forces were.
3 Q. Did he discuss the purpose of fighting in Vukovar?
4 A. I don't understand what the purpose -- what you mean by that
5 question. We all knew what the purpose was. We were there to take
6 Vukovar. Whether he spoke about this or not, I can't say now. He said
7 that we should be brave, that we should fight courageously, that we
8 shouldn't allow the Croats to take control. What else could a man say who
9 had come to visit soldiers? He came to encourage us.
10 Q. Did he refer to Croats by the name of Ustasha?
11 A. Yes, we referred to them by that name as well.
12 Q. What did Mr. Seselj say concerning Ustasha in Vukovar?
13 A. Well, what do you mean by Ustasha in Vukovar? What he said about
14 the Ustasha in Vukovar?
15 Q. Was he giving instructions or advice or exhortations to the
16 soldiers fighting in Vukovar?
17 A. Well, his very arrival encouraged us. That was already something
18 that raised our spirits. Whether he gave any advice or issued any orders,
19 he might have done that elsewhere but he didn't do that in front of us.
20 He might have done so when he was with the commanders somewhere else.
21 Q. What was the effect of his arrival on the volunteers?
22 A. I don't know how it affected the volunteers but I know how it
23 affected me. Quite simply, I was pleased. A man had come to visit us.
24 He wasn't afraid to come to the front line. Mr. Seselj was a political
25 leader and we all trusted him, at least that's what I think.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, let me come back to a
2 few moments ago when you showed -- or spoke about the corpses of Croats
3 who were killed and then you said "liquidated." Could you tell me whether
4 these people had been killed in combat or liquidated, meaning that they
5 would have been executed once they had been made prisoner. So what did
6 you mean exactly?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. They were killed
8 or liquidated in combat. That is precisely the reason. We wanted to show
9 off in front of Mr. Seselj to commend ourselves. It would be silly to
10 shoot anyone in front of him.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is the meaning you give
12 to "liquidated"? What does it mean in your mind to be liquidated?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I go into action of cleansing -
14 that's what we call it - that's a military term, I go with the objective
15 of preserving my own life, taking a territory, and killing or liquidating
16 someone, whatever you call it, but not a captured man of course, in
17 fighting, in combat. If we hadn't done it, they would have.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just one objection. It's probably a
20 problem with the interpretation in different languages. In the Serbian
21 language one can say to liquidate an enemy position, an enemy unit, a
22 machine-gun nest, that is to say to fire in the direction of the enemy and
23 that means liquidate. In the Serbian language liquidate does not
24 necessarily mean to execute, shoot dead --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
1 continues]... the meaning given by Mr. Seselj to that notion of
2 liquidation in your language? Does liquidating mean also that you take a
3 position, not just -- or not executing?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I meant the word "execution," I
5 would have used the word execution; but when I used the
6 word "liquidation," I meant precisely that, the liquidation of enemy
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You took part in a military
9 action. People were killed. I don't know in which exact circumstances
10 they were. Therefore, I have to tell you this: When a question is put to
11 you whose answer might incriminate you; in other words, one day it may be
12 sort of used against you because there would be another court using this
13 information to indict you, well, you are entitled not to answer the
14 question because if you answered it you might incriminate yourself. But
15 in this case the Trial Chamber might ask you to answer, all the same, and
16 the answer you would give, as the Rules say, could not be used against
17 you. This is what I wanted to tell you for everything to be clear. If at
18 any time in a question put to you you sense or you think that something
19 may be held against you, certain behaviour may be held against you, you
20 can say, I don't want to answer this, and the Judges will see what they
21 should do.
22 Let us continue, Ms. Dahl.
23 MS. DAHL:
24 Q. In answer to the Judge's question a moment ago you said that you
25 would go into action cleansing. Can you tell me what you meant
1 by "cleansing"?
2 A. "Cleansing" is a military term, and it means to take a certain
3 area in terms of expelling or destroying enemy manpower and taking that
4 particular area. That is what cleansing means.
5 Q. Do you include in that definition expelling civilians from the
7 A. No. I as a soldier understand the term "cleansing" the way I
8 described it to you a few moments ago.
9 Q. Let me take you to the first day of action in Vukovar after you
10 arrived. Do you recall what your first military objective was with
12 A. That should be one of those so-called mini markets that goes out
13 into Prvomajska Street.
14 Q. Were there civilians in Vukovar in the area that you were trying
15 to take?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Were civilians detained during the engagement?
18 A. There were civilians who were ethnic Serbs and ethnic Croats and
19 other ethnicities, Ruthenians, Slovaks, and so on.
20 Q. So you saw civilians being detained during the military action?
21 A. Yes, yes, I saw that, but it was I think a few days before the
22 fall of Vukovar. I saw civilians at Velepromet.
23 Q. Well, let me take you to your first action in Vukovar. You told
24 me the ethnicities of the civilians. How did you come to know what ethnic
25 group different civilians belonged to?
1 A. We asked them or they speak up themselves. Serbs would usually
2 identify themselves and they would welcome us cordially, quite simple.
3 Croats, on the other hand, looked different -- I mean, I'm not saying that
4 they looked different physically. They looked afraid. There were cases,
5 it wasn't only once, this happened many times, that we found in basements
6 civilians of both ethnicities. Quite simply they would seek shelter
7 together from artillery fire. They were separated then. I don't know.
8 Serbs went to one place and Croats were taken to another place.
9 Q. When civilians were detained and their ethnicities checked, what
10 happened to the Serbs?
11 A. I don't understand. What do you mean by "detention"? This is no
12 detention yet. They're in, say, the yards of the private homes when they
13 were leaving their shelters. You asked what would happen to Serbs.
14 Q. Let me take you into your memory to being in a situation where you
15 found some civilians who have now come out of hiding, and what I
16 understand you to say is that at that point their ethnicity would be
17 checked; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And what decisions were made depending on their ethnicity?
20 A. I already told you, they'd be separated. The Croats would be sent
21 in one direction, the Serbs in another, because -- I'm sorry. At that
22 moment practically 100 per cent of the Croats wanted to be relocated to
23 the territory of Croatia that was under Croatian control, of the Croat
24 forces that is. Serbs, since they were from Vukovar, either went to safer
25 places, Serbia, military-aged men would stay in the Territorial Defence.
1 That's the way it usually was.
2 Q. Were Croat civilians sent to Velepromet?
3 A. Well, I think that Velepromet was used as kind of a collection
4 centre and I don't know whether it was the only such facility -- well,
5 quite simply, I think it was a collection centre.
6 Q. Can you describe the building at Velepromet for me, please?
7 A. Well, you see, the Velepromet facility is the property of a
8 trading company in Vukovar. There are a few hangars there that are made
9 of metal. Quite simply, they were used as warehouses for consumer goods.
10 Q. Were the Croatian civilians warehoused at Velepromet?
11 A. I saw them in those warehouses, yes.
12 Q. Can you estimate how many people you saw?
13 A. No, no.
14 Q. More than ten?
15 A. More, more, hundreds of them.
16 Q. More than 500?
17 A. Madam, Madam Prosecutor, I cannot guess, but it's more than a
18 hundred. I don't know.
19 Q. Did you see children there?
20 A. I do not recall having seen children. It is possible. If entire
21 families were there, there must have been children there too. I
22 personally did not see any, though. I saw the door of the hangar open and
23 masses of people, but inside -- well, these hangars are enormous, they're
24 not that small, and I really don't know who was there.
25 Q. Are you aware of any civilians who were killed while they were at
2 A. Yes, I heard about that.
3 Q. Can you tell me how you became aware of killings of civilians at
5 A. Well, you see, people who are prone to do that kind of thing are
6 prone to brag about it as well. So I did talk about a few killings that
7 took place in Velepromet and I heard about them from a man that we call
9 Q. Can you describe Topola, please.
10 A. A tall man with a beard and a strong voice and very strong
12 Q. Did you see him committing any crime against a civilian at
14 A. I know that he killed a man in the area around Velepromet, but I
15 didn't see that with my very own eyes. I heard gun-shots. It wasn't that
16 I was the only one who heard this; many of us heard this. So I cannot say
17 with any degree of certainty whether he killed this man or not, but as I
18 told you, this man is prone to bragging and he himself said that he had
19 killed this person. We all believed him because that is exactly what it
20 looked like, what he looked like.
21 Q. Did you see the dead body of the man you thought he had killed?
22 A. Yes, the next day by the railroad.
23 Q. What did Topola tell you about having -- shooting that man?
24 A. He tried to be ironical. It's not that he was addressing only me
25 personally. He said that the man had tried to escape or something like
2 Q. Did he tell you something about trying to bring two presents?
3 A. Yes. As a matter of fact, he brought a man to the house where we
4 were all sitting and celebrating the saint archangel. He brought a man
5 and he brought this man, the prisoner, as a gift to the host of the patron
6 saint's day celebration.
7 Q. Who was that prisoner or that man that he brought?
8 A. Well, what we heard from him was that he was a member of the ZNG
9 and he was in charge of the water-tower, so we all assumed that he had
10 been a sniper shooter for the simple reason that the water-tower is a
11 dominant feature there. So that was our assumption.
12 Q. Can you tell the Judges what the ZNG is?
13 A. The Croatian army.
14 Q. Was this man a prisoner?
15 A. Yes, he had already been taken prisoner by someone else
16 beforehand, but Topola brought him from Velepromet, from that collection
17 centre. Now, whether he had stolen him from there or not, well, whether
18 the guards knew about it or not -- but it seems that he got him from this
19 officer of the military police that was providing security there. He said
20 that he asked him to give him two prisoners. He killed one en route and
21 brought the other one there.
22 Q. Did Topola threaten to kill the man in your presence?
23 A. The one that he brought in? Yes, he mistreated him in different
24 ways but he didn't kill him. Quite simply, all of that was happening in a
25 house very close to the command of Leva Supoderica and Kameni's staff. I
1 and another man went there and we said what was going on, but Kameni
2 wasn't there and we said that -- there was some kind of a feast going on
3 there. The man had not been killed yet, but it was very unpleasant. At
4 first, perhaps since we were all a bit crazy from the war, it seemed a bit
5 funny, but afterwards it became unpleasant. But then Kameni called one of
6 his soldiers, Kinez, and he took him away. And a few hours later I saw
7 Kinez and he fired a few rounds from a pistol and I asked him what he did
8 because some people thought that he had killed the man, but he said that
9 he fired two shots in the air in order to get people quiet because there
10 was a lot of celebration -- there were a lot of celebrations going on on
11 that day and I tend to believe the man because I knew him, I knew Kinez.
12 Q. Did you ask questions of the JNA captain concerning the two
13 prisoners who had been taken out by Topola?
14 A. No, I was not authorised to talk to the JNA military police
15 captain -- well, I could talk to him, but with regard to that particular
16 question it wasn't that I asked a question. There was a group of us there
17 and somebody asked him about it, probably it was Kinez. But I don't
18 remember how it was that he explained this or whether he did. I
19 personally am not inclined to believe -- well, or rather, I am inclined to
20 believe that he stole these two men from inside. Maybe he was assisted by
21 someone from the inside, but I don't know. I'm simply telling you what it
22 was that he said.
23 Q. What do you recall the JNA captain's explanation to be?
24 A. I don't know what his explanation was. You know, at that time
25 people had already known about this man, Topola, even if something had
1 happened maybe people were afraid of him. I really cannot say anything
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the OTP microphone
4 please be switched off while there is typing. Thank you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, do you know
6 what happened to this Topola?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I know is that our commander,
8 Kameni, expelled him from the unit, although he did stay in Vukovar,
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And as far as you know, was he
11 ever tried?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he got killed later, so he was
13 not tried.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Dahl, you may resume.
15 MS. DAHL:
16 Q. Did you ever see Topola with a young girl in Vukovar?
17 A. Yes, precisely because of that incident Kameni -- well, I can't
18 remember was Kameni the deputy commander of the platoon or whether he was
19 a squad leader within that platoon. He wasn't an ordinary soldier. I
20 mean it's not that much of a difference between a squad leader and an
21 ordinary soldier, but I think that he disbanded that platoon and that he
22 gave me some of the people from that platoon and others to Kinez. And as
23 for the rest, he said, quite simply, You're no longer with us. It is
24 precisely after this incident that this happened. And as far as I know,
25 she ended up in a well.
1 Q. Can you tell me what you saw Topola doing with the girl?
2 A. His platoon was in a house opposite the house where I had been put
3 up. There was some mistreatment there I -- of that girl. I heard about
4 that the previous day. I know that she was in a room but no one was
5 allowed to enter that room, so she was in this private prison of hers for
6 a day or two. She was accused for her husband being some kind of an
7 extremist on the Croatian side who killed children. That is the
8 explanation that Topola provided. I did not see her being raped by him,
9 but everybody said that he raped her, killed her, and threw her into the
10 well, or rather, I don't know whether he threw her into the well and
11 thereby killed her or whether he killed her before that, before throwing
12 her into the well.
13 Q. Did you see Topola leading her into the house by force?
14 A. Yes, yes. But I saw that a day or two beforehand when I did not
15 know at all that he had kept her as his prisoner. They were returning
16 from an action that lasted about an hour or two, and this girl was being
17 taken by him and his men. I was not attaching much significance to what
18 was going on. I thought that she was taken to the command and the command
19 to the JNA, that he would resolve it in their own way, but I did not know
20 exactly at that first moment that he had kept her as his own prisoner.
21 Q. How old did she appear to be?
22 A. 20.
23 Q. What was her ethnicity, if you could tell from her appearance?
24 A. I cannot tell from someone's appearance whether he or she is a
25 Serb or a Croat or whatever; we're all very similar. But since she had
1 already been taken prisoner and since she was treated that way, I assumed
2 that she wasn't a Serb.
3 Q. Did you make a report of what you thought Topola was doing in that
5 A. Yes, otherwise Kameni would not have found out. I don't think it
6 was only me but I think that all platoon commanders and squad leaders
7 learned about this and reported to Kameni about it. Kameni reacted the
8 way he did. Kameni is an energetic man, a good commander. I'm really
9 surprised that he didn't kill him. Well, that was not practice amongst
10 us, to have people punished that way, to have perpetrators punished that
12 Q. Did you go with anyone to check the house after making the report?
13 A. We entered the house, but the girl was not there.
14 Q. Who did you go with?
15 A. With Sasa and Kinez, I think. Kinez was always there. He was --
16 well, we all respected that man, Predrag Milojevic. I think that he was
17 one of the bravest members of Leva Supoderica and in a way Kameni's eyes
18 and ears, a kind of internal control amongst us, so you could always hear
19 something from him. So he went there to see whether it was true that the
20 girl had been raped and whether she had really ended up in that well, and
21 it was impossible to check that because it was a deep well.
22 Q. Did Slobodan Katic go into the house with you?
23 A. Possibly. Right at this moment I cannot remember. It is
24 possible. Why not? He's a member of the command.
25 Q. Did you find any blood in the house?
1 A. All this is a great deal of detail. Blood was all around us,
2 Madam. It is possible that we saw it. At any rate, as soon as Kameni
3 resolved to expelling -- to expel him, it's obvious that there was enough
4 proof for that. We saw him around afterwards in Vukovar, and after that I
5 saw him in Bosnia too.
6 Q. When did you see him in Bosnia?
7 A. Well, I don't know -- well, I personally saw him in the territory
8 of Brcko, the municipality of Brcko, he and his platoon consisting
9 primarily of volunteers from Ruma. They had their camp there -- well, not
10 camp. Well, they were staying at this particular place. It was a small,
11 privately owned hotel that was called --
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And before that, he had been in
14 action in Zvornik. I was not in action in Zvornik, but the people who
15 were there said that he was there too. That's the only thing I know.
16 After that I heard that he got killed and I'm not quite sure that he got
17 killed in the battle-field. I thought that he got killed in an accident
18 in Serbia, traffic accident.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you're saying that you
20 entered the house and you don't really remember whether you were
21 accompanied by Slobodan Katic, but you added that he was member of the
22 command, that this Slobodan Katic was member of the command. Could you
23 tell us exactly what you meant? What does this mean?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, Your Honour, if we
25 went to check whether it was true that Topola behaved like that with that
1 girl, that he killed her or raped her, then it's no wonder that the people
2 who were in the command of the Leva Supoderica went to check that. If
3 Katic was, I recall, either Chief of Staff or something very similar to
4 that, then -- well, he was part of the command of the Leva Supoderica
5 Detachment, so it's no wonder he was there. I don't find this detail so
6 significant so I don't remember it. I am not sure how many people were
7 there, who was there. It was a long time ago.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So I'm supposed to understand
9 that Slobodan Katic was part of the command structure of the Leva
10 Supoderica unit?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 MS. DAHL:
14 Q. So let me see if I understand correctly when Topola was kicked out
15 of the Leva Supoderica Detachment, he was transferred to another unit and
16 you met him in that context later?
17 A. Yes. Well, as for his being transferred, I don't know. He
18 probably went off on his own and applied to join another unit or he
19 probably wandered around Vukovar with weapons. That's also a possibility.
20 Q. But when you met him in Brcko in Bosnia, he was there with another
21 military unit?
22 A. Yes, those are volunteers from the territory of Ruma or
24 Q. Did he say anything to you about Ovcara?
25 A. I have already said that he was a man who liked to brag. He
1 didn't say anything to me personally in Vukovar itself; however, in Brcko
2 we were together on several occasions in that small hotel called
3 Vestfalija, I can't remember exactly, and once we went to Zvornik together
4 in a jeep on a one-day visit. And at that time he did talk about Ovcara,
5 but at that time it was being talked about less than before. However, I
6 did hear from him that Ovcara had happened and that he had participated in
7 it. And there were others who mentioned Topola. He was a man not easily
8 forgotten because of his build.
9 Q. I'm sorry to ask you an obvious question, but can you tell the
10 Judges what happened at Ovcara?
11 A. All I can say is what I heard, and as the trial in Serbia is over,
12 we now know, the Serbian public knows about this. But going back to 1991
13 and what I thought and knew or heard at the time, I heard that something
14 had happened there and Kameni himself told me that something was going on
15 there. But it was only two or three days later that I heard that there
16 was a large-scale execution there.
17 Q. And in 1992 what did Topola say his involvement was back then?
18 A. Well, what could it be? If somebody participated in Ovcara, how
19 could he have participated unless it was by killing? A man like Topola,
20 what could his role be but to kill? And I recall him as a man who was at
22 Q. I'm asking for your recollection of what he said to you, his
23 words, what you remember.
24 A. I can't quote him now. A lot of time has elapsed since then. If
25 I were to try to recall his words, I wouldn't be able to tell you with
1 certainty what he said.
2 Q. What's your best recollection of what you understood him to have
3 told you?
4 A. Well, it was an execution. Some members of the ZNG were executed
5 there; that was my understanding.
6 Q. Did he tell you, I executed people?
7 A. No, I can't say that he used those words, but in any case the way
8 he explained it gave me to understand that he was one of the participants.
9 Q. When Topola was in Brcko, was he part of a unit that was commanded
10 by a Vojvoda?
11 A. What Vojvoda?
12 Q. That's my question to you. Do you know whether he was with a unit
13 commanded by a Vojvoda?
14 A. When he was in Brcko at the time I saw him and had contact with
15 him, he even went into one or two operations on that territory, he was a
16 platoon commander. Before him there was someone else but that man was
17 killed, I didn't meet him. In those days he was the commander of those 20
18 or 25 men, but there was no Vojvoda.
19 Q. What is a Vojvoda?
20 A. It's a title.
21 Q. How do you become a Vojvoda?
22 A. Well, how do you get any title, prize? Someone has to nominate
23 you, someone has to approve that, and then you get that title. I don't
24 know. There were Vojvodas in Serbian history. That's a historical title.
25 As for the present day, new Vojvodas promoted in the Serb Radical Party,
1 it's probably because of their merits in the war, whether something they
2 had done in military terms or organizational terms, but people were
3 granted that title.
4 Q. Who granted the title of Vojvoda within the Serbian Radical Party?
5 A. I don't know exactly, but to the best of my understanding it has
6 to be another Vojvoda to propose or promote a Vojvoda. I don't know
7 precisely how it functions, but in the Serb Radical Party the first
8 Vojvoda was Dr. Vojislav Seselj, so it was probably at his proposal, but I
9 can't be sure exactly how it works.
10 Q. And do you see Vojvoda Dr. Vojislav Seselj in the courtroom?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you point him out, please.
13 A. [Indicates].
14 MS. DAHL: And let the record reflect that the witness has
15 identified the accused.
16 Q. Are you familiar with whether you had to have a certain number of
17 volunteers under --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, objection.
19 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues]... your control --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your objection?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please tell the Prosecutor to
22 maintain the dignity of these proceedings and pose exclusively relevant
23 questions and not to transform these proceedings into a Serbia. It's not
24 just all of Serbia but probably the whole world who knows that I am
25 Vojvoda Vojislav Seselj, a Chetnik Vojvoda. There's no necessity for
1 these theatrics in the courtroom. So could the Prosecutor please put
2 serious questions to the witness.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl was entitled to ask the
4 witness whether the Vojvoda who would appoint another Vojvoda was you, and
5 he said it was you and you confirmed this. So let's move on to something
7 MS. DAHL:
8 Q. Let me return to my question. Are you familiar with whether there
9 is a requirement to have a certain number of volunteers before one can
10 become a Vojvoda within the Radical Party or the Chetnik Movement?
11 A. When the Vojvodas were granted their titles, I heard earlier from
12 Kameni that something like that was in the offing and that this was some
13 sort of prize for their participation and their overall activity in the
14 war. But I didn't know who the candidates were, and this was also
15 reported in the media. I don't know whether in Serbia, but it was in
16 Republika Srpska and I also saw these people mentioned in the newspapers
17 who were promoted to the rank of Vojvoda.
18 Q. When you discussed this with Kameni, did he mention a figure or a
19 number of volunteers that a Vojvoda would have -- a man would have to have
20 under his control to become a Vojvoda?
21 A. Well, you see, once you're a Vojvoda because of your wartime
22 merits and you had been the commander of a military unit, of course you
23 had to have a certain number of volunteers. In the Serb Radical Party
24 there were people who were promoted to the rank of Vojvoda who did not
25 participate in the war as such but who had assisted in other ways. So
1 some people in the Serb Radical Party never fired shots or participated in
2 the fighting and they were granted the title of Vojvoda all the same. So
3 you can't really say how many men a Vojvoda had to have under his
4 control. It depended on the terrain, on the personality count. Somebody
5 people might prefer to be a volunteer under Kameni than someone else, so
6 it would all depend, but there had to be a certain number of men, yes. If
7 the man was a commander, he can't be the commander of just two or three
8 people, me, Pero, Janko, and himself; he had to have support. He had to
9 help the Serb Radical Party and get volunteers.
10 Q. Would you agree that you would need a couple of hundred volunteers
11 under your command?
12 A. Well, I'm telling you now that I don't know precisely whether
13 there was a kind of threshold. As a commander of volunteers, if I had
14 less than 200, does that mean that I can or can't be a Vojvoda? I don't
15 know. Every commander had a certain number of men depending on the
16 situation on the ground. There were also personality cults for Vojvodas.
17 For example, I could say, Well, I want to be commanded by Kameni and not
18 someone who is completely unknown, and then he would have a lot of
19 volunteers, not just members of the Serbian Radical Party but in Serbia
20 there were many, many volunteers.
21 Q. Let me take you back to November 1991. Did you command a platoon
22 in the Leva Supoderica Detachment?
23 A. When I arrived in the Leva Supoderica Detachment I was a platoon
24 commander. Our commander, a lieutenant, went missing. We don't know to
25 this day what happened to him. We assume he was captured and killed, and
1 then pursuant to Kameni's orders or somebody else, somebody's orders I
2 became a platoon commander and I remained a platoon commander until the
4 Q. And did any member of your platoon report to you that he had
5 killed people at Ovcara?
6 A. Yes, one.
7 Q. Who?
8 A. He didn't report to me, you can't say he reported to me, but he
9 bragged about it, he spoke about it, and of course nobody believed him.
10 Later on it turned out to be true because he has been convicted of war
11 crimes at Ovcara in Serbia. His name was Djordje Soskic. We called him
12 Ceca or Zorz.
13 Q. What did he brag to you that he had done?
14 A. Well, he said silly things to me at the time, that he had cut
15 people's throats with knives, but nobody believed him when he said that.
16 Q. Why not?
17 A. Well, you see, in our platoon he was a sort of mascot. Very
18 rarely did I approve him going into action. He probably remained in the
19 house we used as a headquarters, as a base, and he would have hot tea or
20 coffee waiting for us when we came back from action. So he was just a
21 sort of janitor as far as we were concerned.
22 Q. Why did you place him in the category of a janitor or somebody who
23 would make tea for you while you were out fighting?
24 A. Well, quite simply, it's not that he was actually old but he
25 looked old. He wasn't physically fit. He was a very thin man. In our
1 platoon there were quite a few younger men who could run and fight and we
2 thought that he couldn't and we thought that he would be more useful to us
3 if he met us with hot tea when we went back to the base and procured
4 necessities for us and so on.
5 Q. Where was he from?
6 A. From Krusevac.
7 Q. Where is that?
8 A. It's a town in Serbia.
9 Q. Was this man a volunteer from the Radical Party?
10 A. He was a member of Leva Supoderica, but whether he was a member of
11 the Radical Party at the time or not, whether he became a member later on,
12 I can't say. I don't know. But he arrived there and his arrival was
13 organized by the Serb Radical Party when they were sending volunteers.
14 Q. Did there come a time when you finally believed what he had told
15 you about killing people at Ovcara with a knife?
16 A. When I was partially convinced that the event at Ovcara had
17 actually happened, I still didn't believe that he had participated in it.
18 I thought it was an exaggeration of his because he only went into action
19 once or twice. I didn't let him, as a platoon commander, and I thought it
20 was just an ego trip, that he was just boasting. And then when the
21 inspectors of the Serbian MUP invited me for an interview concerning
22 Ovcara and put many questions to me about him, that's when I started to
23 believe it. When it became clear to me that possibly he might have been
24 telling the truth, and later on this was proved to be true.
25 Q. On the day of the killings at Ovcara, where were you?
1 A. Well, you see, I don't know on what day the murders at Ovcara took
2 place. To this day, in spite of what it says in the media, in spite of
3 the fact that I read about the proceedings, the trial of Kameni and others
4 in the newspapers, I don't remember or recall the date when I heard
5 something about it -- well, we didn't do anything. I don't remember that
6 I did anything.
7 Q. Do you know who -- do you know who organized the killings?
8 A. You mean did I know then or are you asking me about what I heard
9 and learned later on?
10 Q. As you sit here today.
11 A. Well, not just today but even earlier I was aware, I wasn't a
12 hundred per cent convinced, but I think it was Miroljub who organized
14 Q. Can you give me his full name, please.
15 A. Miroljub Vujovic, the TO commander.
16 Q. Is that the TO in Vukovar?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. Did he organize the killings with anyone else to your knowledge?
19 A. I don't know with who, but all the facts and everything I learned,
20 not just I but what I heard from others, leads me to conclude that it was
21 he who did this. I don't know why. He didn't do it on his own. He was
22 an organizer.
23 Q. Did he include you in the organizing of the killing at Ovcara?
24 A. Me personally?
25 Q. Yeah.
1 A. No, no.
2 Q. Do you know whom he invited to go out to Ovcara?
3 A. I don't know whether he invited anyone or not because I personally
4 did not see or hear it, but from what was found out today, the people who
5 were there learned that it would happen, they had to go there, and I
6 assume it was he who organized this. And as for the people who were
7 duty-bound to go there and carry out the task, he probably selected them
8 himself, I don't know, but I can't really say.
9 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I'm noting the time and I'm about to move
10 into another topic, so may I suggest that we take our second break.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, just a minute, before
12 moving to something else I have a follow-up question.
13 Witness, Soskic, nicknamed Zorz, is a member of your platoon,
14 you're commanding this platoon and he is under your orders. You told us
15 that this person was making coffee, tea, and was not really involved in
16 combat action except on two occasions. This is what I would like to
17 know. Since he's under your control, why is it that he ends up being
18 involved in the murders at Ovcara, murders committed by the TO, according
19 to what you said? What happened? How is it that somebody who's under
20 your command ends up in another unit committing crimes in Ovcara? Could
21 you tell us how this could happen?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, nobody from my platoon
23 was ever worried that I was not worried if Djordje Soskic was not present
24 at our base. He just walked around, he wandered around often, and how he
25 went to Ovcara, who told him to go there or perhaps ordered him to go
1 there, I might have been his platoon commander and I was, but other people
2 could issue him with orders, also, not just me.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but when later on he told
4 you that murders had been committed in Ovcara and he took part in these
5 crimes, as a commander yourself what did you do? You were the commander
6 of this person.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, first of all he said that he
8 cut people's throats there, that he killed them in a very brutal manner,
9 so how could I believe him? I didn't believe him. Secondly, my authority
10 was not -- it was not within my authority to conduct investigations. And
11 thirdly, it was a taboo topic. People never spoke about it openly.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 I think it's time for the break. We will have a 20-minute break.
14 --- Recess taken at 11.51 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.11 p.m.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. The
17 registrar told me that the Prosecution has already used two hours and
18 three minutes.
19 Please proceed, Ms. Dahl, but at this pace -- well, eight hours,
20 that's too much for us. So you'll have to look at the timing again.
21 MS. DAHL:
22 Q. Mr. Stoparic, let me bring your attention to a meeting that you
23 had in 2003 with Kameni after arrests taken place in connection with what
24 happened at Ovcara --
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Judges, the Prosecution
1 is not entitled to put leading questions. The right way to put this
2 question is whether this person had a meeting at all rather than establish
3 that there had been a meeting, and so far we have not heard the witness
4 say that there had been a meeting of this kind at all.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Dahl, try to come to the
6 question without sort of directing the witness, without putting a leading
8 MS. DAHL: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I hadn't gotten to a question
9 yet. I was trying to focus the witness's attention on time and place.
10 Q. Did you have a meeting in 2003 with Kameni?
11 A. I wouldn't call it a meeting. But we did go to visit our fellow
12 combatants a few times in Mitrovica, Ruma, and later on in Zemun and
13 Belgrade. The reason was precisely the threat that there would be rest
14 arrests. Miroljub and Stanko Vujanovic had already been arrested.
15 Q. Did Kameni ask to meet with you or go somewhere with you?
16 A. We lived in the same town. We saw each other every day. Yes, he
17 asked me to go with him.
18 Q. Who were you going to go see?
19 A. The first time we went to Sremska Mitrovica to visit Ceca. That's
20 a man's nickname. Later on I'm going to remember his name. At this
21 moment I cannot. We also called him captain, who was one of the
22 commanders during the war in Vukovar. Later on together with him we went
23 to Ruma and saw Milojevic, Kinez.
24 Q. On the way to pick up Ceca, did Kameni talk about the
25 investigation of Ovcara?
1 A. Yes. We all knew about that already. He personally had not been
2 summoned yet. Later on he was summoned to the MUP premises for an
3 interview. At that time he hadn't been and he doubted whether he would be
5 Q. What did you understand the purpose of the four of you getting
6 together during the investigation of Ovcara to be?
7 A. Well, the purpose was simple, to talk about that and in a way,
8 agree on how in case you were interviewed by the MUP you would answer.
9 Well, in order to have an answer. Quite simply, I -- no, I was not at
10 Ovcara but I was accompanying Kameni during the year before that,
11 certainly. Kameni's a very sick man and it was always good for someone to
12 be with him. Amongst themselves, they were trying to reach agreement on
13 this and they were discussing this.
14 Q. Between 2002 and 2003 did you travel with Kameni?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you assist him in driving to pick up Ceca?
17 A. No, Ceca was driving.
18 Q. And after you -- after Ceca joined you, where did you go?
19 A. To Ruma.
20 Q. And --
21 A. It's very nearby, it's the next town.
22 Q. In Ruma where did you go?
23 A. We stayed in Ruma. We went to a restaurant near the railway
25 Q. Before going to the restaurant at the railway station, did you
1 pick up Kinez?
2 A. I cannot remember whether he came on his own or whether Kameni or
3 Ceca had informed him by mobile phone -- at any rate, he doesn't live far
4 away from the railway station.
5 Q. How did the conversation start about what to say if there were
6 questions about Ovcara?
7 A. They were reaching a very simple agreement. I don't know whether
8 Ceca, but Kinez and Kameni at one point were at Ovcara and they did see
9 something there. So they were trying to reach agreement as to what was
10 necessary and how to behave in case there were to be an investigation. At
11 that moment, they did not know whether they were involved in the
12 investigation or not.
13 Q. Did Kameni express concern about who might be prosecuted for what
14 happened at Ovcara?
15 A. Well, no. For himself he never -- well, he was not afraid
16 personally. On the basis of all my socialising with him I understood, and
17 I'm practically convinced that he had not killed anyone there, but quite
18 simply the man was concerned, he was worried. Until you prove that, you
19 can spend a certain amount of time in detention or whatever. Quite
20 simply, the man was worried.
21 Q. Where did he think the prosecutions would be held?
22 A. Serbia, Belgrade.
23 Q. Did he fashion a factual scenario that he thought would provide
24 him with a defence?
25 A. Yes, he -- well, not he but they together reached this agreement
1 or, simply, they were recounting what it was that had happened there in
2 order to remember all of this in case of an investigation. I remember
3 that Ceca insisted that no one should mention JNA members being there at
4 any point in time. I don't know, but he simply insisted on that. All the
5 rest is the way they had put it there, and I remember that the defence in
6 the court in Belgrade was like that. The judgement pertaining to Kameni
7 states that he did not personally take part in the liquidations, but that
8 he was around. I don't know about the others. I did not follow.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you're now speaking
10 about the judgement in Belgrade. I'm not aware of it. I don't have it.
11 But I'm trying to sort of shed some light. All this is very complicated
12 indeed. Kameni is, indeed, Milan Lancuzanin. Was he acquitted by the
13 Belgrade court?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, he was convicted to a
15 maximum sentence at that.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he was convicted?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 MS. DAHL:
19 Q. Did Kameni discuss the people who had been indicted in The Hague?
20 A. No. There was this case that was now brought to an end. Major
21 Sljivancanin, that case, he talked about the Sljivancanin and Radic case.
22 Q. Well, how did he think he could protect himself from guilt?
23 A. He did not say that he could protect himself from guilt, or
24 rather, who? Who would protect himself from guilt?
25 Q. Well, I'm trying to understand the conversation. You told me that
1 they began talking about what to say if they were contacted by the MUP
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you summarize what story they fashioned on that day?
5 A. I don't know whether the story was made up or whether it's simply
6 a compilation of what happened there, but I can tell you what the
7 conclusion was that they reached, how it was that they were supposed to
8 speak in case there were to be an investigation. Very briefly, they were
9 in Belgrade on that day, which is certain. I mean I'm almost certain that
10 Kameni was in Belgrade on that day. That happened in the evening hours.
11 They came from Belgrade. They find out that Miroljub is urgently asking
12 to see them, that he's -- or rather, Kameni heard that Miroljub was
13 looking for him and that he was asking for them to meet at Ovcara. And
14 Kameni went there with his escorts to Ovcara.
15 He sees there that what was being prepared was a liquidation.
16 Kameni even tried to help someone there, a man there, but he did not
17 succeed in that. In the stage when people were being transferred to some
18 vehicles and taken further away, I don't know whether these vehicles were
19 tractors or whatever, I can't remember now, Kameni ordered that they be
20 returned from Ovcara and go to their base in my street. It was something
21 along those lines. Yes, at the moment when Kameni left, Vujovic stops him
22 and says, You're not going to leave me now, are you? And then he
23 answered, That's not my job. And then he leaves. That is roughly how
24 they summarized what it was that was going on.
25 Earlier on, too, earlier on Kameni presented this identical
1 version not only to me but to other people too, something very similar to
2 that much earlier in 1991.
3 Q. When you were listening to their conversation, could you tell
4 whether they were talking about facts or making them up?
5 A. Well, I don't know. It's certain that there is something there,
6 but was it because they forgot or was it because they were making things
7 up? I don't know. Not at a single moment did they say that they were
8 guilty, that they had killed anyone there. Quite simply, it seemed as if
9 they were jogging each other's memory. One would say, Do you remember
10 this? And the other would say, Well, no, don't you remember that it was
11 something else. It was along those lines. Finally they came to a
12 conclusion. They put together a picture, so to speak, regarding all of
13 this, and then they agreed that that is what they would say.
14 I cannot know whether that is the truth, partly the truth -- well,
15 quite simply, I wasn't there and in their conversation not at any point in
16 time could you get the impression that they were speaking in the context
17 of the actual perpetrators. No. That was not being referred to. Now,
18 was it because of my presence or not, but I don't believe that it's
19 because of my presence. At any rate, it is many years afterwards and even
20 if someone were a murderer, if he had any sense left, he would not admit
21 to that when judicial proceedings were already being prepared.
22 Q. Did they discuss with you whether or not to -- I'm sorry, did they
23 discuss in front of you whether they should tell the truth if there was an
24 investigation by the Serbian judiciary or the Hague Tribunal?
25 A. Whether they came to the conclusion that they should tell the
1 truth, is that what you're asking?
2 Q. Did they discuss whether or not they should tell the truth when
4 A. No, they said that that's the only truth. Kameni even repeated
5 that, what they agreed upon -- well, all the things they heard, that that
6 is the only truth, that that is the way we should defend ourselves if any
7 one of us were to be investigated. They still thought that they would not
8 be accused, not any one of them, they simply thought that they could be
9 interviewed in investigation proceedings.
10 Q. Did Ceca discuss how to minimise JNA involvement?
11 A. Ceca who? Ceca who?
12 Q. Ceca who was in the meeting with you at the restaurant, at the
13 railway station.
14 A. Oh, Ceca, you mean. Ceca spoke about it -- well, he's a man who
15 exceptionally likes and respects Major Sljivancanin, and he told us then
16 that he is often in touch with him over the telephone and they would even
17 see each other at military hotels while he was still in hiding. And I
18 know 100 per cent sure that they were close, that they socialised after
19 the war, Ceca and he.
20 Q. Did he say in front of you that they should try to minimise the
21 JNA involvement by saying they saw only uniforms of the Vukovar
22 Territorial Defence?
23 A. He said that the JNA should not be involved in any of this in any
24 way, not to diminish their presence or whatever, that they should not say
25 that JNA uniforms were seen there. That is what he was saying to Kameni,
1 something along those lines, because he was afraid that Major Sljivancanin
2 could be convicted here.
3 Q. Did you make any suggestions about uniforms?
4 A. I?
5 Q. Yeah.
6 A. No -- well, I did say that we were all in JNA uniforms and that it
7 would be silly to say that we didn't say -- that we didn't see JNA
8 uniforms when we wore them ourselves, JNA uniforms. I mean, from 5 or 10
9 metres away you could not distinguish different uniforms.
10 Q. What was Kinez's reaction to your comments about what to say about
12 A. Kinez, Kinez -- I mean Ceca and Kameni had their own version of
13 the event and Kameni had his own. And conditionally speaking, it was
14 Kameni's version that was adopted. But I had heard it earlier on. It
15 wasn't that Kameni said anything new then. In 1991 he said that he saw it
16 that way, along similar lines. He never denied that he had been at
17 Ovcara. He never participated in that massacre. He never said that he
18 did anything there. Many years later as well -- well, I personally think
19 that he didn't, he, he, we are talking about him, the man, the person.
20 Q. Did Kameni suggest that he and others were all at the SRS Main
21 Staff in Belgrade that day?
22 A. Well, now I'm not sure whether it was at the Serb Radical Party in
23 Belgrade, but I am convinced that it was in Belgrade. Well, why not at
24 the premises of the Serb Radical Party in Belgrade? Well, at this moment
25 I cannot recall. Maybe I will remember later. He didn't insist on that
1 detail. Quite simply, Belgrade was Belgrade.
2 Q. Do you know whether -- as you sit here today remembering the
3 events, what you saw of Kameni on the day of the massacre at Ovcara?
4 A. I never can say on what day the massacre at Ovcara was committed.
5 I cannot say the exact day, but when something happened in Ovcara in the
6 evening, Kameni said that all platoon commanders should check the number
7 of personnel in their platoons.
8 Q. Did you do that?
9 A. I did that, but that was nothing new. We often did that if the
10 commander asked us to check the personnel level. Yes, I did that. A few
11 of my people were missing, but it's not that it was serious -- well,
12 except for a few that had taken their regular leave, gone home. If people
13 were not in action for a couple of days, well, they were prone to
14 loitering about.
15 Q. So did you -- do you know whether or not Kameni was absent that
16 day or not?
17 A. He himself said that he was.
18 Q. When Kameni established the factual situation, did they agree that
19 they would tell anybody else what their version of the facts was?
20 A. I don't know. No one ever publicly lined up the unit and said
21 such and such a thing happened or such and such a thing did not happen.
22 Quite simply, in the command the commander said that strange things were
23 going on. I cannot use his exact word now, but he said that what was
24 going on there was not a good thing. And then he asked for the personnel
25 level and then we all went to handle that, and then we returned to the
1 command and said what the respective personnel levels were. But basically
2 what he said was that bad things were happening at Ovcara. He wasn't
3 speaking in literal terms, that there was killing going on there,
4 something like that. It is only that word went from mouth-to-mouth a few
5 days later.
6 Q. In 2003 when you are meeting with Kameni and Ceca and Kinez, did
7 Kameni tell you something about trying to release a prisoner?
8 A. He didn't speak to me. He was speaking to everyone. I think that
9 he did mention that event, that he tried. Now, was this an acquaintance
10 of his or not, I don't know. It wouldn't be surprising if it were his
11 acquaintance because, after all, Kameni was born in Vukovar, lived there
12 all his life. After all, they were a reputable family, they were
13 carpenters, they had their own company.
14 Q. So what story did he give you about trying to save a prisoner or
15 mention in front of you?
16 A. Well, he saw a man there who had been taken prisoner. He tried to
17 take him away from there. That's what he said, but Miroljub didn't allow
18 it. That is literally that.
19 Q. Did he tell you what he replied when the prisoner asked for help?
20 A. I don't remember. I said that the prisoner asking for help, most
21 probably he recognised the prisoner and tried to help him.
22 Q. I'm asking what you remember of what Kameni told you or said in
23 front of you when you in 2003 were meeting with Ceca and Kinez and Kameni?
24 A. He said that if there was an investigation, that was a detail that
25 had to be mentioned. I don't doubt that he tried to assist someone
1 there. That's what he said to Ceca, If they question, you mention that
2 detail also, don't let there be accusations only, let it also be said that
3 we tried to help someone.
4 Q. Did Ceca try to call Sljivancanin during that meeting?
5 A. Not Sljivancanin. He tried to contact him but he said he was
6 unable to establish contact with him right away. He did it through
7 someone and an hour later Sljivancanin himself called him, but it didn't
8 happen while we were sitting there.
9 Q. What didn't happen, the call back or --
10 A. Yes. The call back did not happen.
11 Q. When the meeting concluded, was there any indication on whether
12 they were going to share the story with other people who might be
14 A. I don't know whether they told that to anyone else. We also went
15 to Zemun and saw some people there and it was always the same story, in
16 essence. Whether each of them separately then retold the story to others,
17 I don't know. It didn't seem to be an order issued by Kameni. He was no
18 longer the commander anyway. It was simply people who knew each other,
19 Ceca, Kinez, myself.
20 Q. Did there come a point in time where Kameni was interviewed by the
21 Belgrade MUP?
22 A. That was a special MUP unit for investigating war crimes, but it
23 wasn't in Belgrade. They came to Sid, and then over a three-day period
24 they interviewed many people in Sid, including Bora Bogunovic, Kameni, and
25 myself very briefly. Kinez was taken to Belgrade to take a lie detector
1 test, and after that, he was released. He came back to Sid right away.
2 He told us that he had been tested with a lie detector and that everything
3 was all right.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say that as part of the
5 investigation, the MUP uses lie detector tests?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but Milojevic was the one.
7 Kameni didn't say that he had taken a lie detector test.
8 MS. DAHL:
9 Q. But when you met with -- I'm sorry, did you meet with Kameni and
10 his lawyer after Kameni's interview?
11 A. He wasn't his lawyer yet, but Kameni wanted to engage him for the
12 simple reason that he was already afraid. It's always better, even in the
13 investigation phase, to have a lawyer working for you for the simple
14 reason that Kameni can't concentrate very well. He's suffered two or
15 three strokes, and he didn't want to make any statements without the
16 presence of a lawyer.
17 Q. Did Kameni tell you about the interview he had with investigators
18 from The Hague Tribunal?
19 A. Yes. He offered me a video which I didn't want to view. He told
20 me that his entire interview was there, and he took his lawyer along for
21 that too. He didn't go to meet The Hague investigators without his
22 lawyer. He returned home. We went to have a coffee together, and he said
23 that there were audio and video recordings of that interview and they gave
24 him a cassette at his insistence.
25 Q. Did Kameni tell you anything about what to say if you were
1 contacted by investigators about Ovcara?
2 A. No, no one involved me in that. I wasn't there. It was more an
3 agreement among the people who had been at Ovcara at a certain point in
4 time. I was not in Ovcara.
5 Q. Did the lawyer tell people present at that meeting to forget about
6 it like it never happened?
7 A. [No interpretation].
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Judge, such questions
9 can't be asked. The question could be: What did the lawyer say, not
10 whether the lawyer said this or that. It's a leading question.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you're right. Mr. Seselj
12 is right. Please rephrase your question.
13 MS. DAHL:
14 Q. Did the lawyer give any instructions about how to address
15 questions about the events at Ovcara?
16 A. Quite simply, he said at the end, Just go home quietly, don't be
17 afraid, just forget it ever happened as if it had never been, something
18 like that.
19 Q. Did Kameni give any instructions about using cellular telephones
20 to contact each other?
21 A. We took the batteries out of the mobile phones during the
23 Q. What was the effect of removing the batteries?
24 A. Well, I don't know. There's a belief, I don't know whether
25 technically that's how it is or not, that if you do that, no one can
1 listen in, no intelligence services can listen in. I don't know if that's
2 true or not, but I did remove the battery from my phone.
3 Q. Was it an attempt to keep anybody from listening to your
5 A. Yes. You know what? People were afraid. If there was an
6 investigation, they thought someone might be listening in, might be
7 bugging certain persons.
8 Q. So is it your testimony today that you left the meeting with
9 Kameni and Ceca and Kinez with the impression that they had gotten
10 together to refresh each other's memories and tell a truthful, consistent
12 A. They did refresh each other's memory and fill in the gaps in each
13 other's stories, but whether what you say is true, I can't say. I don't
15 Q. So you didn't consider they were making an attempt to cover up
16 their role in the Ovcara massacre?
17 A. Well, if they did have a role in the Ovcara massacre they didn't
18 discuss it in front of me or probably in front of anyone. So no one could
19 conclude that they actually did participate in the massacre. Quite
20 simply, they were there. It turns out they were witnesses, and it was not
21 my conclusion that that was what they were actually doing, that that was
22 the gist of their conversation. The conversation was conducted in such a
23 manner that they were simply filling in the gaps in each other's
24 recollections. I didn't have the impression that they were trying to
25 cover up their personal participation, at least they didn't mention
1 anything like that. If one of them had said, You know, we're not going to
2 say we killed this one or that one, let's say something else, they didn't
3 say that. They never mentioned murders. They saw it as a problem, but
4 either they were innocent or they were afraid someone was listening in.
5 There can be various reasons.
6 Q. But you were listening in, weren't you?
7 A. Yes, yes, I was.
8 Q. And there were points in the conversation where it got hot, yes?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And those were the points where they began to omit personal
11 involvement when they were discussing things in front of you?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Judges, this is again a
13 leading question. The Prosecutor has no right to put such questions.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Dahl, it is true that the
15 way you phrased your question was a bit suggestive, leading. Could you
16 please reformulate your question?
17 MS. DAHL: With respect, Your Honour, I need to get a clear answer
18 before I confront Mr. Stoparic with his signed statement to the contrary.
19 So if I can beg your indulgence and get either a yes or no, and I can ask
20 Mr. Stoparic to look at his statement.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we have here some matter
22 of procedure. This is a viva voce testimony. This is not 92 ter, so
23 theoretically, the written statement does not need to be produced or
24 presented unless you decide that you need to refresh his memory because on
25 one point in the written statement that you have he is being evasive.
1 Then show him the written statement according to the rules of the Appeals
2 Chamber just to refresh his memory, saying, This is what you said earlier
3 and now I will show you the written statement where you say something --
4 some other thing. You come from the common-law system. You know exactly
5 what I'm hinting at.
6 MS. DAHL: Yes, Your Honour, I understand --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So please follow the procedure.
8 MS. DAHL:
9 Q. Do you recall whether there were points during the conversation
10 that it appeared to get hot when the conversation touched on the personal
11 involvement of the participants in the Ovcara massacre?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I object again. The question could
13 be, Were there stages where the conversation became hot? Not whether, Do
14 you recall whether this happened? The Prosecutor can say whether any
15 points where the conversation became hot.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Dahl, please rephrase.
17 MS. DAHL: I need to --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As -- since there's some
19 problems, maybe I will ask the question myself.
20 Witness, you were having a conversation with people who,
21 rightfully or wrongfully, believe that maybe one day they might be heard
22 by an investigating judge in Serbia. This is a meeting which you attend,
23 and the discussion is on what might have happened at Ovcara. According to
24 your recollection, what were the position of each and everyone in relation
25 to what had happened at Ovcara? Could you say exactly what each and
1 everyone said regarding this, and then we will continue on with other
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour. I did
4 not participate in the conversation. I spoke up very little. Kameni was
5 very calm, but Ceca said to Kinez very often, Keep quiet, you know nothing
6 about it. Or, The other way around. The two of them spoke more loudly
7 and they often contradicted each other about various points. Kameni was
8 the only one who was calm throughout the conversation. If that's what you
9 are referring to in your questions --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Something's up, there's four of
11 you, yourself, Kameni, Ceca, and Kinez. According to what you're saying,
12 you're in the background and not really taking part in the conversation.
13 Kameni is still -- is very quiet, but it seems that there is tension
14 between Ceca and Kinez.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. According to you,
17 what is the reason for this tension?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite simply, for example, Kinez
19 would start a sentence and Ceca would interrupt him and stop him from
20 completing it. So Kinez never managed to complete his sentence so I
21 couldn't tell you what he intended to say. They knew each other better
22 than I knew either one of them. They had spent more time in each other's
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 Now, starting from this foundation, Mrs. Dahl, could you please
1 continue. We could probably save time if I was asking the questions, but
2 this is not provided for in the Rules.
3 MS. DAHL:
4 Q. Let me go back to when you got involved in the conversation. Did
5 you make a suggestion about whether the group should acknowledge wearing
6 JNA uniforms?
7 A. Yes, I've already said. It's absurd to say that I didn't see any
8 JNA uniforms there when we ourselves were wearing JNA uniforms.
9 Q. Did Kinez reply to you when you made that suggestion?
10 A. Well, he might have said, Shut up, you fool, or something like
11 that. I can't remember right now.
12 Q. Let me show you your statement to refresh your recollection.
13 MS. DAHL: In e-court document 07044.
14 Q. Let me ask you to look at paragraph 152.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, we need to have
16 paragraph 152 in English and 152 in the -- in Serbian.
17 MS. DAHL: In Serbian the paragraph is located at page 36, the
18 internal page number of the document.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have paragraph 152 in Serbian
20 and 152 in English. The best would be to have both paragraphs side by
21 side, please.
22 MS. DAHL:
23 Q. Can you review paragraph 152 to see if it refreshes your
24 recollection about what Kinez said to you when you involved yourself in
25 the conversation.
1 A. Well, I've answered that. It's precisely what I said.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, Witness, please read this
3 paragraph in your language out loud, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "That was the first time I got
5 involved in the conversation. I said that we, that is, the members of
6 the 'Leva Supoderica' Detachment wore new JNA camouflage uniforms that we
7 received at the 'Velepromet' facility in Vukovar. 'Kinez' said to me that
8 I should shut up and be happy because I wasn't there."
9 Well, that's precisely what I said, Kinez told me to shut up --
10 well, it says here he told me to be glad I hadn't been there, well, quite
11 simply, I could not be a subject of investigation.
12 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I need to make a request for an
13 interpreter's clarification. You asked the witness to read and in the
14 English the words "we would say" were omitted from the interpretation from
15 the second sentence that begins: " ... I said that we would say that the
16 members ..."
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 We'll do this once again. Please read this paragraph again out
19 loud slowly.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "That was the first time I got
21 involved in the conversation. I said that we, that is, the members of
22 the 'Leva Supoderica' Detachment wore new JNA camouflage uniforms that we
23 received at the 'Velepromet' facility in Vukovar. 'Kinez' said to me that
24 I should shut up and by happy because I wasn't there."
25 That's what it says here. Probably it wasn't what he said. He
1 probably said I should be glad that I hadn't been there.
2 MS. DAHL:
3 Q. Does that refresh your recollection about what Kinez said?
4 A. Madam Prosecutor, that's what I said previously. I, quite simply,
5 didn't recall that he said I should be glad I hadn't been there. But even
6 before I read this out aloud, I told you all this.
7 Q. Did you --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please. When you're
9 saying that he should be glad I hadn't been there, means not be at
10 Velepromet, is that it? You should be happy not to have been in Ovcara,
11 not to have not been at the meeting?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He meant to say I should be glad I
13 hadn't been at Ovcara.
14 MS. DAHL:
15 Q. Did you understand that the people in the conversation that day
16 were making an agreement about what they would say to investigators if
17 they were questioned?
18 A. Well, of course. They were agreeing as to how they should conduct
19 themselves if they were interviewed about it.
20 Q. Did they agree on a factual situation that was different from what
21 you personally observed when you were in Vukovar?
22 A. Previously Kameni had said something similar to this, not only to
23 me but to others, as early as 1991. But I have no way of knowing whether
24 it was to distract attention from the actual events or not because I
25 myself was not an eye-witness of the events at Ovcara.
1 Q. Mr. Stoparic, I want to repeat my question. Did the factual
2 scenario they agreed upon that day differ from what you personally
3 observed at Vukovar?
4 A. Well, I'm telling you, I couldn't observe anything at Ovcara
6 Q. Did you observe whether or not Kameni was there or in Belgrade at
7 the particular points in time that we're discussing?
8 A. Kameni says he was in Belgrade in the morning. You see, to go
9 from Belgrade to Vukovar by car it takes two and a half hours or even less
10 if you have a good car. In wartime the motorway was empty, there was no
11 traffic, so you could get there even faster. He came in the evening, and
12 I'm almost certain that for reasons of his own he went to Belgrade in the
13 morning. That's all I can say.
14 Q. Did you have contact with him when he returned to the Leva
15 Supoderica command post?
16 A. Late in the evening when he asked for the numbers of men. It was
17 already winter so it had been dark for a long time already. It was in the
18 evening. I couldn't tell you what time.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a question of military
20 nature. I saw in your military record that in 1992 you were promoted
21 lieutenant, so I'm sure you will immediately understand my question. When
22 Mr. Kameni leaves for Belgrade during the day, obviously, who takes
23 command in his absence?
24 THE WITNESS: [Previous translation continues] ...
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Previous translation continues] ... in
1 question? Is it you? Are you the one in command?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was a platoon commander. If
3 Kameni went somewhere, he probably appointed someone to be acting
4 commander. On such occasions, it could have been Katic if he wasn't with
5 him, Kinez, Ceca. He could simply appoint someone for the period of time
6 of his absence to be acting commander,, not to command but to be a sort of
7 duty officer in the command, to keep an eye on things.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your unit was there a duty
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course there was.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
12 Mrs. Dahl, we have about five minutes before the end of this
14 MS. DAHL:
15 Q. When Kameni came back from Belgrade, what was his state of mind or
16 his physical presence when he contacted you?
17 A. When he came back from Belgrade I did not see him, that very
18 moment when he returned from Belgrade. Quite simply, I didn't need him, I
19 had no questions for him, and nothing was happening at the front. I saw
20 him later when he called all platoon commanders via courier to come to a
21 meeting, when he told us to check personnel levels, that people should not
22 be allowed to stroll about. When people are idle and just strolling
23 about, they are prone to looting. So that is how I understood his
24 orders. That's when I saw him. Now, whether he was upset or not, well,
25 he was quite upset, tired. I don't know how to describe this to you now.
1 Quite simply, he was tired.
2 Q. Can you describe his demeanour? Was he -- I don't want to put
3 words in your mouth. I'm interested in what you observed from him.
4 A. As commander, he was always a cool, calm man; otherwise, he would
5 not have been a commander. He's a reasonable man, but of course he would
6 get tired, upset, and any incident could upset him. He's a human being
7 too, quite simply. Then, like all the rest of us, he was already tired
8 and upset enough. But at that moment I didn't know why he was upset and I
9 did not investigate that, and to tell you quite frankly, I didn't care. I
10 was there, I carried out my order, and that's the kind of relationship we
11 had. We never disrupted that relationship. I always knew that I was the
13 Q. Did his demeanour cause you to think that there was something
14 wrong or something out of the ordinary?
15 A. Well, after the personnel were counted, one realized that
16 something was not right. He did not mention the TO or Miroljub, but quite
17 simply the man did not want to make everything public straight away. He
18 didn't want to disturb the soldiers too, probably, but he just told us
19 probably what he thought was sufficient.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I think we should
21 end now. It's almost 1.15.
22 Sir, you are under oath. You're a witness of justice now and you
23 cannot contact the Prosecution. We will meet tomorrow morning and -- at
24 8.30. Thank you.
25 MS. DAHL: Your Honour --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Dahl.
2 MS. DAHL: I would ask for a complete instruction. It would be
3 inappropriate for him to contact either the Prosecution or the Defence or
4 to discuss his testimony with anyone else, for that matter.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, obviously. That's obvious,
6 it goes without saying.
7 But, Witness, you can contact no one, absolutely no one. Thank
9 The hearing is adjourned and we will meet tomorrow at 8.30.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.15 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 16th day of
12 January, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.